AC JosepH Media
GALLOWAY — The Stockton University Performing Arts program will present its 16th biennial performance of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah: An Oratorio,” in collaboration with other local choirs, at 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 8 at the Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City.
“This is going to be the biggest and best ‘Messiah’ yet,” said program coordinator and Stockton Professor of Music Beverly Vaughn. “The audience is going to be so moved.”
The choir includes Stockton students, community members and local choirs. This year’s performance will include the children’s choir from the Beachwood Elementary School in Toms River, the EGN Community Choir, and choirs from Charter Tech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point and Holy Spirit High School in Absecon. In total, some 150 singers are expected to perform.
The choirs will sing the Christmas portion of the Messiah. For many, the production is a tradition; some of the singers are long-time participants who have a passion for both Handel’s classic and Stockton University.
“I have been a part of this since grade school … about 25 years,” said tenor Lawrence Stroud from Pleasantville. “I always want to stay connected to ‘Messiah.’ It’s such a wonderful piece that has always been a part of my life.”
Soprano Sally Russell from Mays Landing has participated in almost every production.
“Every year, there is great music, great people and great directors,” she said. “You always feel like you’re at home.”
Some participants are new to Messiah, but just as excited.
“I came out and saw this show a while ago and loved it,” said soprano Pam Walker from Somers Point. “Then a friend told me I had to join, so I did, and I am blown away. I am surrounded by so much talent.”
Community singers are still welcomed. Rehearsals take place Mondays at 7:15 p.m. in Alton Auditorium at Stockton’s main campus in Galloway, through Dec. 2.
Tickets to the performance range from $8 to $14 and are available through the Borgata website at theborgata.com/shows.