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Holladay brings the ‘Messiah’ to Olympus

Oct 31, 2017 01:42PM ● Published by Travis Barton

Maestro Jack Ashton gives instructions to the orchestra in preparation for the performance of “Highlights from Handel’s Messiah.” (Courtesy David Robertson)

After inviting various singers and instrumentalists to join the show a month ago, “Highlights from Handel’s Messiah” now invites the public to attend the 26th anniversary of this Holladay staple. 

Nov. 26 marks the day of this year’s annual community holiday event to kick off the Christmas season. The free show will take place at 7 p.m. in the Olympus High School Performing Arts Center. 

“It is thrilling to see the auditorium fill and sense the excitement of the arriving public who love this music as we do,” said David Robertson, representative from the Holladay Messiah Foundation, “and then to hear the applause and see the happiness on their faces as the final chorus ends. We feel we have done something good for the community.”

Music for the show comes from George Frederic Handel, a German composer known for his operas, oratorios and instrumentals. “Messiah” is among his most famous oratorios from 1741. Handel died in 1759. 

Sponsored by the Salt Lake Holladay Stake of the LDS church and the Holladay Community Messiah Foundation, in cooperation with the Holladay Interfaith Council, the performance has now gone on for over a quarter century. The show’s press release indicates performances used to be held at an LDS stake center before necessitating a move to Olympus High to accommodate the increased numbers in attendance. 

Jack Ashton will serve as conductor while David Barton Hansen takes the choral director position. 

Soloists will feature Holladay resident Scott Miller, who often sings solos for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Aura Nielsen, who recently sang with the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society; Demaree Clayson Brown, a high school and middle school choir teacher; Charles Hamilton, a performer for national and international opera companies; and Robert Taylor, a jazz trumpet soloist.

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