Holiday Concerts Bring Cheer to Campus


The Western Reserve Academy Choir and Orchestra have had a busy couple of months practicing and performing the newly reinstated Messiah Sing and the annual Vespers concert.

Messiah Sing, formerly a beloved school tradition, made a re-appearance this year. As the name suggests, Messiah Sing is a concert where an orchestra plays the first part of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, and the audience–in this case, Reserve students, faculty, and alumni–gathers to sing along. With refreshments like cookies and hot chocolate, audience members were in for a treat. “It was nice to see the community gather together and see people get excited about music,” commented Quentin Mundy ’19. Some highlights included the fantastic soloists and accompaniment of the harpsichord (described as the “guitar piano” by Will Downing ’19). “The visitors came infused with energy and breathed life into the music, making this Messiah Sing a very special time,” Eli Chapas ’20 stated, “events like these lessen the stress and lift the overall mood of Reserve.”

Similarly, the annual Vespers concert was performed by the Academy Choir and select musicians. Known as the holiday concert, Vespers typically consists of a collection of Christmas carols and festive tunes. The Chapel transformed into a winter wonderland where songs about angels and bells resonated throughout the building.The entrance, marked by candles and song, set the mood for the night. Others got involved by ringing bells to cue the choir into the processional. Braydn Podnar ’18, a veteran choir member, has been a part of many Vespers performances. He reflected, “As a senior, I’ve seen a lot of bass sections come and go. What made this year’s Vespers stand out from others was the basses. A lot of them are close friends and really just made the experience a blast. I’m sad that this was my last Vespers, but I’m glad about all the work we put in and how much fun we had.” After the concert, there was a dinner and a chance to meet Santa, a tradition loved by many Reserve students.

Many thanks are in order for such great events: Music director Ms. Karam, all performers, and those behind the scenes who made Messiah Sing and Vespers work as well as they did.

– Carson Harkins ’19

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