Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico wants to introduce children to Handel’s “Messiah.”
Visitors to this year’s Sixth Annual Children’s “Messiah” can nibble on some breakfast before meeting Mr. Handel at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John on Saturday, Dec. 18.
The cathedral will offer the free food before the music with Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico begins. The choristers will join young singers from Roosevelt Middle School in Tijeras, the Rio Rancho Youth Chorus and Albuquerque Academy.
Founding director Maxine Thévenot pared the normally three-hour oratorio to 45 minutes (the first movement) to make it palatable for young ears.
“Mr. Handel comes out and gives an introduction about how he wrote this piece and why he wrote this piece,” she said, “so there’s an educational component, too.”
Thévenot will accompany the singers on keyboard. Local instrumentalists also will perform. She expects about 75 singers to join them, with a few from neighboring schools. As usual, she encouraged participants and audience members alike to dress for the occasion.
“We’ve had old Baroque-style wigs,” she said. “People wear their ugly Christmas sweaters. They wear lights around their necks.”
Children can bring cushions or pillows to sit on the floor.
All participants and audience members are asked to wear masks.