Friday, December 5, 2014

Messiah Sing-A-Long - Pittsburgh's New Holiday Tradition

Music director, Brian Burns leading the choir in Handel's "The Messiah"

At a special concert, Pittsburgh music lovers will not only be able to hear George Frideric Handel’s "The Messiah" by candlelight and surrounded by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s magnificent stained glass windows, they’ll also be able to sing along on five beloved choruses.
The concert will take place at 4 p.m. in the restored Calvary United Methodist Church
971 Beech Ave. at Allegheny on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Music director, Brian Burns will lead a choir of 50 and an orchestra of 12 with David Bridge on organ. Soloists include Anna Singer, soprano; Mary Beth Sederburg, alto; Christopher Quigley, tenor and Matthew Hunt, baritone.

    Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for seniors 62+ and may be purchased via  ShowClix through noon on Saturday, then at the door at 3 p.m. The concert is presented in support of outreach ministries on Pittsburgh's Northside. Audience members are asked to bring one-pound, non-perishable food items for the Northside Food Pantry.
    Family-friendly, the concert admits children 12 and under, veterans, and current military service members at no charge. Children receive an activity packet with information on music and "The Messiah."
A cookie reception will follow the concert.
    At the moment, Calvary United Methodist Church is restoring its rare 1895 Farrand & Votey pipe organ, featured in "The Messiah.". New pipes have been added to blend smoothly with the original pipes while music director Brian Burns continues extensive hands-on repairs and improvement. The organ is only one of two such instruments still in use in the US and is in restoration under Burns’ care.
    The church interior and exterior have undergone extensive restoration - from the repaired and cleaned stained glass windows by Stained Glass Resources to the sanctuary, also designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studios. Much of restoration over the past 12 years has been led by Allegheny Historic Preservation Society. Calvary’s spaces and systems have been revived so that the building serves not only as an awe-inspiring setting for worship, weddings, and community events, but is a hub for dinners, meetings, arts events and more. The church held its first service on Dec. 24, 1893 when the building’s chapel was completed.