A veritable waterfall of voices cascaded from Room 145 Monday night in an otherwise empty Hutchinson Community College’s Stringer Fine Arts Center.
Before the Reno Choral Society takes the stage Sunday in Stringers' B.J. Warner Recital Hall to perform the “Messiah,” members invest considerable rehearsal time that started in January.
This will mark the Reno Choral Society’s 80th performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” This is only about the fifth time, though, that the choral society will perform the entire “Messiah,” according to Reno Choral Society member Ellen Lane.
The Reno Choral Society is a non-auditioned choral group, and Hutchinson Community College’s Neal Allsup is directing this performance.
“Really, it’s not about hearing, it’s about watching,” Allsup said to the singers at the rehearsal Monday.
He blended humor with tips, as he directed the rehearsal.
“This is the only exercise I get every year,” he said at one point. At another, he reassured, “You do realize the first violins will be there for you.”
The Reno Choral Society will be joined by Allsup’s Concert Chorale. Altogether, including the orchestra, over 100 people will be involved in the performance. Matt Means is returning as the concertmaster, and soloists slated to perform are soprano Ashley Winters, alto Virginia Revering, tenor Brian Stranghoner, and bass David Settle. In an unusual set of circumstances this year, both the earlier scheduled soprano Holly Swartzendruber and also Robin Rives McAddo fell ill and had to be replaced.
The audience will have a role, too. One tradition of the local production of the “Messiah” is an invitation to the audience to join in singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.”