Branch County Community Chorus presents Handel’s ‘Messiah’

The Kellogg Community College Choral Union pictured during a performance.

Music lovers will have a chance to hear a live performance of some of the best-known classical music ever composed when Kellogg Community College’s Branch County Community Chorus brings George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” to Coldwater Dec. 8.

The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 27 E. Chicago St., and will feature nearly 50 student singers; a guest chorus including the Ars Voce Ensemble and community singers from throughout the greater Branch County area; and performances by faculty soloists Betty Picard and Mark Wells, distinguished alumna Jacqueline King and professional bass-baritone John Hummel.

The concert is free, but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit future vocal arts initiatives at the College.

Dr. Gerald Blanchard, vocal music professor at KCC, said the college’s production of “Messiah” will be a concert like no other.

“This is a great opportunity for people to come and hear one of the greatest compositions of all time live,” Blanchard said. “It will be inspiring and an incredible way to kick off the holiday season.”

Handel’s “Messiah” was first performed on April 13, 1742, in Dublin. The work is an oratorio composed in three acts thematically spanning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Blanchard said the choir will be performing excerpts from the full work.

“It’s a massive work, about three hours in its entirety,” he said. “We’re telling the whole story from the birth to the death of Christ musically.”

KCC’s singers will offer a preview of sorts while performing as the guest ensemble with the Monroe Symphony and Community Chorus during their production of Part I – the “Christmas portion” – of “Messiah” on Dec. 2.

That performance will be 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at IHM Motherhouse Cathedral, 610 W. Elm Ave., in Monroe. For ticket information, call 734-241-3660.

For more information about vocal arts at Kellogg Community College, contact the college’s Arts and Communication offices at 269-565-7859 or visit