WICA to Welcome Seattle Mandolin Orchestra for Handel's MESSIAH, 12/8

Related: Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Seattle Mandolin Orchestra, Messiah

This holiday season, experience Messiah, George Frederick Handel's beloved oratorio-like you've never heard it! On December 8, the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra presents an intimate setting of Messiah played entirely on plucked strings. Joining the orchestra will be four top-flight vocalists from Seattle's choral and operatic community.

"Messiah is one of the most popular and well-known pieces of music in the world," said Joseph Pollard White, SMO Artistic Advisor and conductor for the evening's performance. "Changing the instrumentation can help us hear it with fresh ears, as if for the first time. The transparent quality of the mandolin sound supports the voices beautifully, revealing aspects of Handel's music that one might not notice in a conventional setting." The orchestra will present an abbreviated version of the oratorio, featuring Part I, or the "Christmas section," plus the famous "Hallelujah" Chorus.

Soloists Julie Finch, soprano; Elizabeth Giesbers, mezzo-soprano; Derek Sellers, tenor; and Gustave Blazek, bass, will sing with the orchestra. In another unconventional move, the soloists will also constitute the entire chorus.

Since taking the podium for the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra in 2010, Joseph Pollard White has worked with the group to reinterpret the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Brahms and other composers, exploring the mandolin as a legitimate voice in classical music as well as other styles. A native of New York, completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington, where he was a student of Robert Feist. He also holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Indiana University School of Music. Dr. White has taught at Northern Kentucky University, Christopher Newport University and Pacific Lutheran University. He has worked with the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Seattle Chamber Players and Northwest Mahler Festival and served as Music Director of the Rainier Symphony and Seattle Civic Light Opera.

Founded in 1968, the Seattle Mandolin Orchestra is dedicated to revitalizing America's mandolin ensemble tradition. Featuring the entire mandolin family of instruments, including mandolin, mandola, mandocello and mandobass, the group performs throughout the Puget Sound area. The Orchestra's Italian-themed CD, Coloratura, and its new holiday CD will be for sale at the concert. Both recordings feature the captivating vocals of soprano soloist Julie Finch. For more information, visit www.seattlemandolin.org.

Tickets are $20, available online or at the WICA box office. For more event details visit tickets.wicaonline.com. Call the WICA Box Office at (360) 221-8268, (800) 638-7631 or visit the WICA Box office at 565 Camano Ave, Langley, WA 98260, Wednesday through Saturday, 1-6 PM.




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