EAC Fine Arts Department to perform annual holiday concerts in December
By Todd Haynie
THATCHER, AZ—The Eastern Arizona College Fine Arts Department will celebrate the holiday season with two annual concerts, the Festival of Carols and the College’s 71st annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.
Always a family favorite, Festival of Carols will take the EAC Fine Arts Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4. This annual holiday concert will feature EAC’s Choral and Instrumental Music Departments in a Christmas music extravaganza.
“Festival of Carols is the EAC Music Department’s Christmas card to the Gila Valley,” said Dr. Bruce Bishop, EAC’s choir director. “The Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, A Cappella Choir, Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorale, EACompany, Jazz Singers, The Guys, and the Women’s Quartet combine their talents for a celebration of the wonderful music of Christmas and the holidays.”
Then, at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 9, community and College singers combine with the EAC Orchestra in the College’s Fine Arts Auditorium to celebrate the holiday season in one of the longest continual Messiah performance traditions west of the Mississippi river!
Messiah, a three-part oratorio by George Frederick Handel, was written in a little less than a month for a benefit concert for a Dublin hospital. He never thought it would become more than a one-night concert event, but received rave reviews in the premiere performance so Handel decided to try a performance in London. It was banned, however, by the London clergy because they thought it blasphemous to perform an oratorio with the title “Messiah” and libretto telling the story of Christ. Handel finally prevailed and obtained permission for a performance in London and it was acclaimed as one of the finest works ever written. Before the end of Handel’s life, Messiah had become an annual staple of the London cultural calendar.
Both concerts, Festival of Carols and Messiah, will be presented free of charge.