Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 4, 2013

Mark Maynard: 'Messiah' special showing: 12/5/13

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — Regular readers of this column may have noticed some updates on the Community “Messiah” Sing set for Sunday afternoon at the Ashland Plaza Nazarene Family Center.

There are several reasons why I’ve given that some extra TLC.

For one, I like helping people in the community who are trying to do something to make the place we all come home a little better. Carl Taylor, the choral teacher at Boyd County High School and a longtime friend of this community, is heading up the program. He has used his God-given singing talents as a blessing to many for a lot of years (not trying to say you are old, Carl).

It was his vision to revive the Community “Messiah” Sing which, according to Max Jackson, hadn’t been done here since 1998. Getting a “community” together for anything takes organization, planning and a lot more. Carl knew that when he started the project. Taylor attends Plaza Nazarene and he had spoken with Kevin Campbell, the church’s pastor, about doing something big and splashy for Christmas.

Well, nothing is bigger than the “Messiah.” When it is performed properly, and I have no doubt the performance will be, it is absolutely amazing. Really, it is chilling.

Another reason why I so supported this cause is for my late father. He simply loved the “Messiah” and sang in the last community event in 1998. Every Christmas, he would listen to the “Messiah.” It was part of his Christmas tradition and what Christmas meant to him.

I know they probably don’t keep track of time and days in heaven — Why would you? — but the “Messiah” is probably still part of his Christmas there as well.

Research shows Handel wrote the music for “Messiah” in 24 days. The score’s 259 pages show some signs of hurrying with a few blots and scratch-outs, unfilled bars and other uncorrected errors, but considering the document’s length, it was quite well done.

Handel wrote the letters “SDG” at the end of the manuscript. Soli Deo Gloria translates: “To God alone the glory.” That inscription and the speed with which Handel finished the music encouraged belief by some that it was divine inspiration. As he wrote the “Hallelujah” chorus it was said “he saw all heaven before him.”

 There’s not a time I don’t get chills when singing or hearing the “Hallelujah” chorus and I know my father felt the same way. Probably many of you do as well.

Final preparations are under way for the community event at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Orchestra and solo rehearsals take place tonight and Friday and there will be a chorus rehearsal at 3 p.m. Saturday in the church’s life center, the venue for the Sunday performance.

On Sunday, the orchestra will practice at 1:30 p.m. and the chorus will practice at 2.

Taylor said singers who are familiar with the oratorio may also sing on Sunday. Scores are available at the church.

Following the performance, refreshments will be served by high school students scheduled to sing at Carnegie Hall in March. Donations for students’ travel expenses will be accepted.

For more information, email Carl at carl.taylor@boyd.kyschools.us.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at (606) 326-2648.