At Calvary Presbyterian Church on Sunday

Handel’s Messiah was Composed in Only 24 Days

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Welcoming in the holiday season, Calvary Presbyterian Church will host its 16th annual “Messiah” on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the city.

The free performance will begin at 4 p.m.

Approximately 50 chorus members from across the community and 15 orchestra members will lead the traditional event.

Director Mike Wilson says, “This has become a genuine Christmas tradition within the San Gabriel Valley. Participation keeps growing every year.”

Soloists this year include Monika Beal, soprano; Melissa Treinkman, mezzo; Arnold Geis, tenor and David Castillo, bass. Geis and Castillo were recent  winners on “America’s Got Talent” as part of the male vocal group “Vox.”

Wilson is Calvary’s director of music and holds a master’s degree from Occidental College, having studied under the renowned Howard Swan.

“Messiah,” composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741,  debuted in Dublin on April 13, 1742. Handel himself conducted the performance.

Unlike much of  his work, the “Messiah” has remained popular since that time and become a well-known selection even outside of musical circles. The classic work is divided into three sections.

In swift fashion, “Messiah” — Handel’s most successful and best known oratorio—was composed in London in just 24 days.

Critics say it is astounding that Handel’s work of this magnitude could be completed in such a short period of time, but he apparently was inspired, as it was noted at the time, that he said, “I think I did see all Heaven before me and the great God himself.”

The work lives on today with performances and sing-along versions in hundreds of communities around the world.

Calvary Presbyterian Church is at Fremont and Oxley streets. Parking is available in the rear of the church on El Centro Street.

Calvary Presbyterian Church contributed to this story.

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