August 20, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
79°F

Harvest Presbyterian presents ‘Messiah’ Christmas selections

By JOHN BENSON
Special to The Gazette

What: “Messiah” Part One: Christmas Section
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Harvest Presbyterian Church, 1095 E. Reagan Parkway, Medina
Tickets: Free
Info: www.harvestpca.com or 330-723-0770

MEDINA — Celebrating the holiday season in style is the reason Harvest Presbyterian Church Choir annually presents G.F. Handel’s “Messiah, Part One: Christmas Section” as part of its music ministries and the Guest Artist series. The church’s seventh annual show takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Harvest Presbyterian Church.

“It’s an outreach to the community and a free performance,” said Harvest Presbyterian Church Guest Artist committee member Mark Loomis. “It allows people to come in openly. There’s no sermon attached to it or a particular message attached to it. It’s just the message of the Christmas selection of Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ ”

Loomis added, “This is something that started internally with just our congregation, but then it grew larger as we were inviting musicians in from the community and other churches in the area that join us. We’ve also done it a couple of times off-site, and we now have upwards of 60 performers. In addition to that, this year we’re going to have 14 combination musicians and soloists from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Cleveland Institute of Music.”

During the past few years, the 75-minute performance has taken different shapes. This year’s event boasts a quintet string section along with a trumpeter and a French horn player.
The show, led by conductor Lori Ciulla and her husband/assistant conductor Gary Ciulla, who is also the Medina High School band director, regularly attracts about 275 people from the Medina County area.

“Oh I definitely think it’s a family tradition,” Loomis said. “There are some people that I’ve spoken to who said that’s why they first came to the church, to see the performance. And they have stayed with us. So it’s part of our Guest Artist series, and it’s just another thing we’re able to offer the community.”

He added, “The main reason to attend this performance is to celebrate this season of the birth of Jesus and to have the opportunity to fellowship with others in the community.”

Benson may be reached at ididhear@aol.com.