Sarah Ioannides, listed as one of the top 20 female conductors worldwide in 2016, is now in her third season as Music Director of Symphony Tacoma. Joining her for the performances will be soprano Christina Kowalski-Holien, mezzo-soprano Melissa Plagemann, tenor Wesley Morgan, and bass Charles Robert Stephens. Symphony Tacoma is Pierce County’s only professional symphony orchestra and the third largest orchestra in Washington State. The 70-piece all-volunteer Symphony Tacoma Voices, directed by Geoffrey Boers, includes professional singers and gifted amateurs who perform regularly in concert with Symphony Tacoma (formerly Tacoma Symphony Orchestra) and in stand-alone engagements.
Handel wrote Messiah in a remarkable 24 days. By one estimation there are a quarter of a million notes in the work, meaning that he averaged 15 notes a minute, 10 hours a day — every one of them exquisite. Handel was fascinated by human feelings and experience; Messiah is his musical depiction of the human experience of the divine.
Today, Messiah is the world’s most well-known and beloved choral work. Originally intended for Easter season, Messiah is now closely associated with Christmas. Audience members customarily stand during its most well-known segment, the “Hallelujah Chorus.” The establishment of this practice is attributed to King George II, who according to legend leapt to his feet when he first heard it.