An Outstanding Performance of Messiah, an Oratorio
Sometimes rare treats occur in unexpected places. That was certainly the case on Sunday when the Outer Banks Community Chorus and Orchestra performed Handel’s Messiah.
The Hallelujah Chorus is certainly the best known part of the work, but the composition is actually much longer, telling the story of Christ’s life in song. The full composition is actually about three hours in length and is rarely performed in its entirety.
Under the direction of John Buford, the Oratorio that was performed at the Holy Redeemer Church in Kitty Hawk were section from the work.
What seemed to make this recital stand out were a number of performances. The accompanying orchestra, small but very talented, framed the music wonderfully—especially Leslie Erickson on first violin. Erickson can usually be seen performing for local weddings.
John Buford, who is usually the First Flight High School chorus director, did a magnificent job of conducting the piece. A challenging composition, the music is difficult, there are a number of changes in tempo and each solo vocal performance calls for its own technique.
If there was one aspect of the evening that made the oratorio memorable it was the vocal soloists.
Tenor Tshombe Selby grew up in Manteo but is now in New York, studying voice with some of the finest vocal instructors in the world, as he builds a career and the power and beauty of his voice was unmistakable.
Mezzo soprano Adrianne Derr was very good. The clarity and pitch of soprano Anna Feucht’s voice was astonishing. Soaring over the voices of the chorus and orchestra, her voice created an image of beauty as she sang the verses recounting the shepard’s story from Luke.
Kudos also go to Join Buford who took on the bass role, and did it very well.
The Messiah, with it’s memorable chorus and unforgettable music seems perfect for creating a holiday spirit as the end of the year approaches.