Handel’s “Messiah” celebrates 41st anniversary in San Juan County
San Juan County is extremely fortunate, given a rural population, to have a tradition of performing Handel’s “Messiah” every Christmas for over four decades.
It’s something to which most rural communities can’t lay claim.
Past directors include Jonnie Bailey, Pete Henderson, Derryl Jack, and Duane Lyman.
Thanks to their selfless giving of time, energy, and talent, the county has been able to create a strong momentum for performing this hallmark work celebrating the birth and mission of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
This Christmas, performers have the honor of presenting the “Messiah” under the direction of Wayne Erickson. This will be his second year directing the “Messiah.”
Erickson began his career as a high school band director, fresh out of college, right here in Monticello.
He advanced onward and upward, directing Snow College bands and orchestras and eventually teaching at Utah Valley University as Director of Bands.
Erickson was recently inducted into the Utah Music Teacher’s Hall of Fame.
This year’s performance will be a bit different from past years. For one thing, it will be shorter. This may be a good thing for some.
Handel’s original, entire Messiah can take up to four hours to perform.
Although it was difficult to cut some of these beautiful arias, show organizers felt a shorter program would be more beneficial to today’s audience.
The numbers chosen focus on the birth of the Savior and his triumph over sin and death.
Orchestra members and singers from all over the country have been preparing since October for a successful performance.
Their work and efforts will be on full display for all to enjoy.
The “Messiah” will be performed in Blanding on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Blanding LDS Stake Center, 100 West 800 North.
This will be the only performance.
Come and be a part of this wonderful Christmas tradition, honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.
The performance is free and open to all.