First chorus rehearsal for Danbury Music Centre’s performance of Handel’s Messiah is November 21

A Call for Singers!

The first chorus rehearsal for the Danbury Music Centre’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah is Tuesday, November 21, at 7:30pm at the Danbury Music Centre (256 Main St., Danbury, CT 06810) The performance will be at the First Congregational Church on the corner of Deer Hill Avenue and West Street on Sunday, December 17 at 4:00pm.

Rehearsals are scheduled for Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm and are at the Danbury Music Centre unless otherwise noted.

Joining the chorus and orchestra are soloists Meagan Brus, soprano, Robin Bier, contralto, Matthew Hensrud, tenor, and Joseph Beutel, bass.

This year’s performance is led by one of New York’s most exciting and revered conductors, James Blachly, as reviewed by the New York Times, Boston Globe, & Miami Herald Tribune.

James Blachly is a conductor dedicated to audience engagement, community outreach, and imaginative programming. Recently named the 12th Music Director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Blachly also serves as Music Director of the Experiential Orchestra, Music Director of Geneva Light Opera, and is a co-founder of The Dream Unfinished, a social justice orchestra in New York City. Steve Smith, writing for the New York Times, praised his performance of Mahler 4, saying, “Mr. Blachly’s interpretation had a subtle elasticity” and his “thoughtful conception was admirable.” 

His innovative programming has invited audiences to dance to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, join with the orchestra in “Loft Parties” in New York City, and engage with Symphonie fantastique and Petrouchka with circus choreography in an ongoing collaboration with The Muse in Brooklyn. Dedicated to finding new ways of empowering audiences, Blachly is also in demand as a speaker on Listening as Leadership, bringing his expertise as a conductor and passion for music to corporations, schools, and other organizations.

Maestro Blachly says “Performing Handel's Messiah is an unending journey of discovery. No matter how many times one has conducted, played, or sung the work (I have done all three more than two dozen times), it never ceases to reveal new theological insights and miraculous musical discoveries. The music calls for a choir that is fully committed to a thorough preparation, and an orchestra that is as well-attuned to text and scansion as it is to balance, intonation, and phrasing. Every time I conduct the work, I am more and more grateful to be a musician and a human being. It truly brings out the best in both the performers and the audience, and indeed the entire community that gathers to support the performance.”

Singers may borrow Messiah music from the Danbury Music Centre or use their own Schirmer edition vocal score. Music will be loaned on a first come, first served basis. Participation is free for Danbury Music Centre members at the $150 level; for all others a $35 fee applies.  

For more information or to pre-register, contact the Danbury Music Centre at 203-748-1716, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Media Contact: Mary E. Larew, Executive Director, Danbury Music Centre


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