By JOHN BENSON
Special to The Gazette
What: â€œMessiahâ€ Part One: Christmas Section
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6
Where: Harvest Presbyterian Church, 1095 E. Reagan Parkway, Medina
Info: www.harvestpca.com or 330-723-0770
MEDINA â€” Celebrating the holiday season in style is the reason Harvest Presbyterian Church Choir annually presents G.F. Handelâ€™s â€œMessiah, Part One: Christmas Sectionâ€ as part of its music ministries and the Guest Artist series. The churchâ€™s seventh annual show takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Harvest Presbyterian Church.
â€œItâ€™s an outreach to the community and a free performance,â€ said Harvest Presbyterian Church Guest Artist committee member Mark Loomis. â€œIt allows people to come in openly. Thereâ€™s no sermon attached to it or a particular message attached to it. Itâ€™s just the message of the Christmas selection of Handelâ€™s â€˜Messiah.â€™ â€
Loomis added, â€œThis 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. Weâ€™ve also done it a couple of times off-site, and we now have upwards of 60 performers. In addition to that, this year weâ€™re going to have 14 combination musicians and soloists from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and The Cleveland Institute of Music.â€
During the past few years, the 75-minute performance has taken different shapes. This yearâ€™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.
â€œOh I definitely think itâ€™s a family tradition,â€ Loomis said. â€œThere are some people that Iâ€™ve spoken to who said thatâ€™s why they first came to the church, to see the performance. And they have stayed with us. So itâ€™s part of our Guest Artist series, and itâ€™s just another thing weâ€™re able to offer the community.â€
He added, â€œThe 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.â€
Benson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.