RiverChor and Gateway Area Singers present Clinton’s annual performance of “Messiah” on Sunday, December 17 at 2:00pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 439 3rd Ave S in Clinton. Celebrating 92 years of tradition, the group will be performing much of Handel’s famous oratorio with orchestra and many local soloists. Admission is free, offerings are welcome and appreciated.
Rev. Frederick Schoenbohn with a group of singers called the Apollo Choral Society first began the annual tradition in 1931. Over the years, community singers have been directed by Jim Winn, John DeHaan, Dorothy Rathje, Mark Kapusinski, and Rob Engelson. In his third year at the baton is Karl Wolf, recently retired choir director of Clinton High School. Christine Holmer serves as pianist, and Julie Marston heads up the orchestra.
At the tender age of 11, George Frideric Handel’s prodigious organ playing skills caught the ear of a nobleman, which changed the trajectory of his life from becoming a law student to being lauded by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven as the “greatest composer who ever lived”. Handel began his career with operas, but turning his hand to religious oratorios allowed him greater musical freedom.
“Messiah” was written over an astounding period of only three to four weeks, and debuted to a record crowd of 700 people in 1742. The work is in three parts: the first detailing the prophesied birth of Jesus Christ; the second exalts His sacrifice for humankind; and the final section heralds His resurrection. Throughout his music, Handel focuses on the human response to the divine, perhaps why this work has continued to be so popular as it is performed by groups across the world for Christmas and Easter.
“Our singers from across the Gateway Area have been hard at work since October to brush up on movements that are familiar, and those we only perform in this year 3 of our cycle”, explains RiverChor manager Brooke Logan. “We invite you to step away from the busyness of the season to enjoy this truly special experience this Sunday afternoon.”
RiverChor and Gateway Area Singers presents Clinton’s annual performance of “Messiah” on Sunday, December 18 at 2:00pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 439 3rd Ave S in Clinton. The group celebrates 91 years of performing Handel’s work with all of the Christmas portion, followed by several more selections concluding in a resounding “Hallelujah”!
The tradition was begun in 1931 by Rev. Frederick Schoenbohn with a group of singers called the Apollo Choral Society. Over the years, community singers have been directed by Jim Winn, John DeHaan, Dorothy Rathje, Mark Kapusinski, and Rob Engelson. This year, the baton passes to Karl Wolf, recently retired choral director of Clinton High School. The pianist is Christine Holmer, organist at Zion Lutheran and former director of music at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
“We are excited to present “Messiah” in concert again. While we have maintained the annual tradition with Sing-Alongs, this will be the first formal “Messiah” concert presented in Clinton since 2018,” said Brooke Logan, RiverChor manager and organizer of the event. “We have singers who are marking 50 years of participation, and some who are looking at this work for the very first time. We invite you to take a break from your hectic holiday schedule to enjoy their efforts and the retelling of the Christmas story through song.”
Admission is free, offerings are welcome and appreciated.
If you’d like to help us spread the word, here is a link to the Facebook Event for you to share and invite others: https://fb.me/e/3IOUQtmij
And we also have this printable poster….simply click the little printer icon in the top right corner of the preview box below.
RiverChor, the Gateway Area’s community choir, presents their fall concert at 2:00pm on Sunday, November 13, at Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton, IA. The concert is free, donations are appreciated.
Entitled “A Choral Cornucopia”, the concert explores a wide range of choral standards from William Billings (the first American choral composer), to Mozart, Distler, Dello Joio, and Copeland. The choir will also present some fun pieces by Irving Fine, Merle Travis, and Fats Waller.
The 40 member choir is directed by Karl Wolf, the pianist is Christine Holmer. RiverChor will also be joined by the talents of violinists Julie Marston and Kristen Jones. Maureen Pollpeter will partner with Holmer on two 4-in-Hand piano pieces.
On Monday, November 14, RiverChor invites community singers to join them in rehearsals for the 91st annual “Messiah” performance. Practice will be at 7pm each Monday in the Great Hall of 1st Presbyterian Church in Clinton. The free concert will take place at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 18 at Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton.
Fall Concert Sunday, November 13, 2:00pm Zion Lutheran Church
Messiah Sunday, December 18, 2:00pm Zion Lutheran Church
Spring Concert Sunday, April 30, 2:00pm Zion Lutheran Church
The choir will begin rehearsals on Monday, September 12, 7-9pm. If you are interested in joining the choir, please use the Contact Form , and we’ll provide you with more information.
Messiah is open to anyone who would like to sing, this will be Year 2 of our 3 year cycle. We will perform the majority of Part 1 and selections from Parts 2 and 3 with piano. Rehearsals will begin in mid to late November; we will announce here, in the Clinton Herald, and to our Email List, you may subscribe in the sidebar —->
We look forward to singing with or for you this upcoming 2022-2023 season!
Please join us for Clinton’s annual Messiah Sing Along! We welcome singers and audience for this informal event. We’ll have scores for you, or bring your own. Park and enter in the rear of St. Paul’s (the church at the foot of the south bridge, and behind Sterling Federal Bank). St. Paul’s recommends masks (but not required), and they have pews marked off for social distancing. Karl Wolf will be our host and director, and Christine Holmer will provide her talents on piano. Join us for a lovely afternoon to kick off the Christmas season!
While circumstances are preventing us from having a live performance of Messiah this year (which would have been the 89th year in our local tradition), we’d like to invite you to sing along to our performance in 2015.
You are invited to join a long standing Clinton tradition, the 88th annual singing of the Messiah. This year is the Sing-Along, which is an informal event. If you’ve ever wanted to try to sing Handel’s work, or enjoy a unique opportunity to sit inside a choir, please join us on Sunday, December 1, at 3:00 pm at Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton, please enter via the East door to the sanctuary.
You are welcome to bring your own copy of the score, or borrow one of ours. We will sing all the choruses from Part 1, take a few requests for choruses from Parts II and III, then finish with Hallelujah. The event is directed by Chris Marple, our pianist is Christine Holmer.
The Messiah Sing-Along is free. Come as you are, bring a friend or two, and plan to have a joyous time singing!
Since 1931, Handel’s Messiah has been performed annually in Clinton, and is an excellent way to kick off the Christmas season. RiverChor, Gateway area singers, area orchestral instrumentalists, and pianist Christine Holmer will perform much of the work under the direction of Dr. Rob Engelson, in his 21st and final performance with the group. Join us on this musical journey through Scripture on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm in Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton, Iowa. A free-will offering will be taken to defray costs.
Please join RiverChor and gateway area singers in the annual Clinton tradition of Handel’s Messiah! The free concert will begin at 2pm on Sunday, December 17th at Zion Lutheran Church in Clinton, Iowa. All of Part I and selections from Part II will be presented with piano accompaniment by Christine Holmer. The group is under the direction of Dr. Rob Engelson.