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Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

The Messiah can’t be sung just once

J. Ernest Green directs the Annapolis Chorale's performance of the Messiah

Competing voices sing Handel’s Messiah to the heavens in Annapolis, at sites only a few blocks from each other.
    This weekend will be the 70th anniversary of the Naval Academy’s presentation of the Messiah, which includes 120 Midshipmen in the chorus, the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and soloists from the roster of the Metropolitan Opera.
    “My favorite aspect of our specific performance is the dynamic palate that the Glee Club has,” says director Dr. Aaron Smith. “Their pianissimo is delicate and shimmering … but their fortissimo — well, let’s just say that I do not know of any other ensemble that can shake a building like the Mids can.”
    “There are many ways to present the Messiah, says J. Ernest Green, director of the Annapolis Chorale, performing the Messiah December 16 through 18. “Handel would be happily surprised,” Green surmises, “at the modern-day popularity of his composition, a piece that still astounds and surrounds listeners with its grace and power.
    “Who doesn’t love the Naval Academy Chapel?” Green adds. “But I think there’s no better place for live music than St. Anne’s. It’s more intimate here, more powerful. It will blow your mind.”
    “Ella Fitzgerald said, The only thing better than singing is more singing,” Green concludes. “I say, The only thing better than music, is more music!”
    “I would never view our performances as competition,” Smith adds. “In fact, I do not think it possible for fine music ensembles to ever compete. A hundred ensembles could all perform the same work, and each one would be different and equally special.”


United States Naval Academy’s Messiah: Dec. 3 and 4, Sa 8pm, Su 3pm, Naval Academy Chapel, Annapolis, $21-$36, rsvp: bit.ly/BayWeeklyUSNAMessiah.

The Annapolis Chorale Messiah: Chamber Chorus and the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra perform Handel’s masterpiece with four guest soloists. Dec. 16-18, FSa8pm for Messiah Part I plus Hallelujah Chorus; Su 3pm adds selections from Parts II & III, St. Anne’s ­Episcopal Church, Annapolis. $45 w/discounts, rsvp: www.marylandhall.org.