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Marietta College to present two Christmas traditions

The Marietta College Music Department will present Christmas with the Choirs and “Messiah” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7 p.m. Dec. 5, respectively, both at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, 506 Fourth St. The shows are free and open to everyone. Masks are required as a COVID precaution. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — The Music Department at Marietta College will host two special yuletide performances, Christmas with the Choirs and “Messiah,” in early December.

Christmas with the Choirs will be held 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, 506 Fourth St.

The show features Christmas songs performed by the Marietta College Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Floodstage and the Veritas Classical Academy Children’s Choir. The choirs will be joined by a professional string quartet.

“Every year our Christmas with the Choirs concert is something special,” said Jay Dougherty, director of choral activities. “Not only do we get to perform with a professional string quartet, but we get to perform in the beautiful Basilica in Marietta. We also usually feature a local children’s choir, and this year we’re excited to have the Veritas Classical Academy Children’s Choir as our guest performers. We’ll also be doing two combined numbers with them.”

The concert is free and open to the public. The audience is required to wear a mask due to COVID-19 precautions.

“We’re excited to invite a live audience again as we weren’t able to do so last year,” Dougherty said.

Local students participating in the Wednesday show are:

* Caleb Clark of Walker, a graduate of Parkersburg High School majoring in music therapy.

* Brenden Smith of Parkersburg, a graduate of Parkersburg High School majoring in vocal performance.

* Grace Wharton of Waterford, a graduate of Warren High School majoring in political science.

* Ellie Yeater of Williamstown, a graduate of Parkersburg High School majoring in musical theater.

Dougherty also will conduct the 95th annual “Messiah” performance at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Basilica.

The concert, also free and open to the public, features the college Oratorio Chorus and a professional orchestra and soloists. Masks also are required for the concert.

“This is another big milestone year for our annual ‘Messiah.’ Ninety-five years is quite the accomplishment,” Dougherty said. “It’s amazing to think that Marietta College has had this tradition since before even my grandmother was born.”

The Oratorio Chorus, which consists of residents and students, will be entering its 168th performance. Marietta College’s performance of ‘Messiah’ started in the fall of 1926 when music director Gerald Hamilton arrived singing the Christmas portion of the performance.

Since then, “The Messiah” has become a tradition allowing the community and students to showcase their talents and love for music.

“We can’t wait to help our community officially start the holiday season with a performance of some of the greatest music ever written,” Dougherty said. “The Oratorio Chorus, professional orchestra and professional soloists are all eager to share the joy of this music with the community. Come masked, come early for good seats, and come enjoy with us.”

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