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EAC to present its 70th annual Handel’s Messiah

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[Click Image to Enlarge] EAC’s 70th annual singing of Handel’s Messiah is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the EAC Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free. [EAC – Lori Dugan photo].

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER, AZ—One of EAC’s oldest holiday traditions is just around the corner. On December 10, at 7:30 p.m., the EAC A Cappella Choir, the Gila Valley Messiah Chorale, and the EAC Community Orchestra, featuring Ramona Lines at the organ, will collaborate to proudly present EAC’s 70th annual singing of Handel’s Messiah, a three part oratorio written by George Frideric Handel.

“I’ve done some pretty extensive research,” said the production’s director, EAC director of choirs, Bruce Bishop. “And I can’t find a longer-running tradition of the Messiahanywhere west of the Mississippi.” The Messiahhas been sung all over the world since 1742.

Over the course of twenty years Handel created a series of works that became some of the most popular in all of Western tradition. Most famous among these was his telling of the life of Jesus Christ, his Messiah (1742). The “Hallelujah Chorus” from this work is arguably the most immediately recognizable piece of Western classical music.

Handel continued to passionately conduct and perform the Messiahuntil his death. Indeed, it was at the end of a performance of Messiahthat he collapsed, dying three days later.

“There’s a special feel to this year’s performance,” said Bishop. “The entire cast is honored to be a part of a tradition that began here in 1936. It brings our (EAC’s) history to life for those of us who will take the stage for this event’s 70th anniversary.”

The entire performance will be under the direction of Bruce Bishop. The Messiahwill be presented free of charge Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the EAC Fine Arts Center Auditorium.