Music Department presenting two holiday traditions in December

Behind the crowd at Messiah

Marietta College’s Music Department is ready to do its part in bringing the Christmas spirit to the community as it will host two special performances — Christmas with the Choirs and Messiah — in early December.

Christmas with the Choirs is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 1st, and features high-quality Christmas music that is performed by Marietta College’s Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Floodstage and the Veritas Classical Academy Children’s Choir. They are also joined by a professional string quartet.

It will be conducted at the Basilica of St. Mary of Assumption.

“Every year our Christmas with the Choirs concert is something special,” said Dr. Jay Dougherty, Director of Choral Activities. “Not only do we get to perform with a professional string quartet, but we get to perform in the beautiful Basilica in Marietta. We also usually feature a local children’s choir and this year we’re excited to have the Veritas Classical Academy Children’s Choir as our guest performers. We’ll also be doing two combined numbers with them.”

The concert is free and open to the public. Attendees are required to wear a mask due to COVID-19 precautions.

“We’re excited to invite a live audience again as we weren't able to do so last year,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty will also conduct the 95th annual Messiah performance at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, December 5th, at the Basilica.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, features the College’s Oratorio Chorus and a professional orchestra and soloists. Attendees are required to wear masks.

“This is another big milestone year for our annual Messiah — 95 years is quite the accomplishment,” Dougherty said. “It’s amazing to think that Marietta College has had this tradition since before even my grandmother was born.”

The Oratorio Chorus, a group that consists of a mixture of community members and students, will be entering its 168th performance. Marietta College’s performance of Messiah started in the fall of 1926 when music director Gerald Hamilton arrived singing the Christmas portion of the performance. Since then, the Messiah has grown into a tradition giving community members and students a chance to showcase their talents and their love for music.

“We can’t wait to help our community officially start the holiday season with a performance of some of the greatest music ever written,” Dougherty said. “The Oratorio Chorus, professional orchestra, and professional soloists are all eager to share the joy of this music with the community. Come masked, come early for good seats, and come enjoy with us.”