The Tooele Regional Messiah Production is gearing up for their December performance with a talent call for local performers — both chorus and orchestra members.
“We are especially excited because we suspect that new residents in Tooele County have brought with them their love for classical music, especially Handel’s ‘Messiah,’” said Pamela Dale, Messiah director.
The regional performance of the “Messiah” was a 35-year tradition in Tooele County before the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down in 2020.
The “Messiah” returned to Tooele County in December 2022. Along with the choir and orchestra, eight soloists performed as part of the 2022 “Messiah” production.
A heartrending choral rendition of the prophecies of Christ, his birth, death, resurrection and the redemption of mankind, the “Messiah” was first performed for Easter in 1742 at Dublin’s Musick Hall in Ireland.
The “Messiah” performance for 2023 is scheduled for Dec. 17 at the Grantsville High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Rehearsals will begin on Oct. 8 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 1000 W. Utah Avenue from 7 to 8 p.m. Rehearsals will continue each Sunday until the performance.
While the rehearsals are held in a Latter-day Saint building, participation is open to everybody, according to Dale.
“We encourage musicians of all faiths to join us in this interfaith production,” Dale said. “This work is sure to inspire us all, performers and audience goers alike.”
No audition is required for performers over 16 years old. Choir members may share scores for the initial rehearsal but eventually choir members will be expected to buy their own score.
Orchestra members will be provided their parts, but they will need to bring a music stand, according to Dale.
“This is a challenging work both technically and the range is extreme,” Dale said. “Rehearsals are required.”
Solo auditions will be held at the same building as rehearsals on Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. Soloists will be part of the chorus, Dale said.
Pamela Dale is the director and chorus master. Natalie Snyder prepares the orchestra and assists the director. Natalie Ashby is the acting president of the Messiah organization and concertmaster in absence of Betta Nash. Sandi Ajax is the rehearsal accompanist and plays the keyboard for the performance.
“This is our gift to the community at Christmas time,” Dale said. “The text comes word for word from the scriptures in the Holy Bible.”