Outer Banks Performance of Messiah a Real Treat

Tshombie Selby performing during Sunday evening performance of Handel's Messiah.
Tshombie Selby performing during Sunday evening performance of Handel’s Messiah.
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.

Finding the Holiday Spirit on the Outer Banks

Illuminating the night and creating holiday spirit at the Elizabethan Gardens Grand Illumination.
Illuminating the night and creating holiday spirit at the Elizabethan Gardens Grand Illumination.

Thanksgiving is almost here and that, of course means the Holiday Season is just around the corner.

Sometimes it takes just a bit of effort to get into that Christmas spirit, so in the interests of promoting goodwill and cheer among all our visitors to the Outer Banks and local residents, here are two Thanksgiving weekend events that we think will get just about anyone into the spirit of the season

Grand Illumination-Winter Lights

Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island is a magical place at any time, but as the days get shorter and the nights darker, strolling the paths of the Gardens, illuminated by thousands and thousands of lights in the trees, plants and everywhere is amazing. There are also some wonderful special decorations that seem to create a wonderland.

This is a not to be missed Outer Banks tradition.

The Grand Illumination is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it s a wonderful celebration of the Outer Banks community. High school choirs perform, there are cookies and cider—and best of all, maybe, the fire pit in the middle of the Garden seems to have an endless supply of marshmallows for roasting.

It’s hard to imagine a better way to find the holiday spirit.

Handel’s Messiah at All Saints Catholic Church

Located in Kitty Hawk, All Saints Catholic Church is as close to a perfect setting to perform Handel’s classic holiday opus as there could be. Spacious with amply seating, with it’s high ceiling and hard walls, sound reverberates. Perfect for the Messiah.

John Buford, who is conducting, is the First Flight High School music director, but that is just one small part of what he does. A remarkably talented musician, he is classically trained and has a real knack for bringing out the best in his choirs.

The performance begins at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.