Besides “The Nutcracker,” the most ubiquitous Christmas work you’ll get a chance to experience, this year and every year, in performing arts centers around the Bradenton area is Handel’s “Messiah,” or at least the Christmas portion of it.
You’ll have several chances to hear that glorious piece of music this season, and one of the performances worth considering is coming up on Friday. The SCF Bradenton Symphony will partner with the the SCF Choir and SCF Alumni Choir for a performance of “Messiah” at the Neel Center for the Performing Arts.
You may not be familiar with the SCF Bradenton Symphony, because it’s very new. It’s first concert was just a couple of months ago, and this upcoming performance is only its second.
The orchestra is made up of State College of Florida music students, mostly in the string section, and musicians from the community. Soloists are members of the SCF faculty. The symphony is conducted by Robyn Bell, who’s on the music faculty at SCF, but is better known as the conductor of the Pops Orchestra.
George Frideric Handel reportedly composed “Messiah” in just 24 days in 1741, and nearly 400 years later audiences have not tired of it. The oratrio is sung in English, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer.