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home : news : area August 28, 2014

12/18/2013 3:33:00 PM
'Messiah' singers share true Christmas spirit
Area vocalists and musicians perform selections of Handel’s “Messiah” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield on Sunday, December 8.  This marks the fifth year of the event under the direction of Nancy Matti, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Dodge County food shelf. Photo by Ruth Hanson
+ click to enlarge
Area vocalists and musicians perform selections of Handel’s “Messiah” at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield on Sunday, December 8. This marks the fifth year of the event under the direction of Nancy Matti, which also serves as a fundraiser for the Dodge County food shelf. Photo by Ruth Hanson

By Ruth Hanson

Handel's "Messiah."

Surely one of the most beloved pieces of music of the Christmas season.

Five years ago Nancy Matti, who has been directing the choir for 35 years at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield, and her choir decided to present Handel's "Messiah" on a Sunday afternoon during the holidays.

It went so well that they have presented it for five years.

"It is such a busy time of year that we don't have exactly the same people every year," Matti said. "We practice twice for an hour with whoever can come. Some of the members of the group are from other churches or from out of town."

The string quintet is made up of musicians from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra.

"They are amazing," Matti said. "They are sight reading at the concert. They amaze me. They just come and do it because they enjoy doing it."

She added that they are lucky to have the members of the Hosannah Quartet - Kathy Demmer, soprano; Deb Oelkers, contralto; Randy Demmer, tenor and Harry Follmuth, bass - to sing the solos and to be at practices.

"We are glad to have nearly a full house, in part because the money that comes in at the concert goes to the Dodge County SEMCAC Food Shelf," Matti said.

The version they sing is a slightly shortened one, lasting 45 minutes. The Hosannah Quartet sang some pieces before "The Messiah" began.

"We have felt so inspired by the music, which puts us in the true Christmas spirit, that unless something happens, we will do it again next year," she said.


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