Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Thursday, April 19, 2018

handelsmessiah1210-29fHARTFORD – To celebrate the Christmas season, the Sacred Sounds Concert Series will offer two opportunities to hear the "Christmas" section of Handel’s beloved oratorio, "Messiah."

Conductor William Boughton will lead the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Schola Cantorum, St. Joseph Cathedral’s professional choir, in the "Christmas" section at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Jeffrey Douma will lead the Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra and the cathedral choir in an encore performance of "Messiah" at 11 p.m. Dec. 24 in the cathedral. Midnight Mass will follow.

The "Christmas" section includes such favorites as "He Shall Feed His Flock," "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted, and "For Unto Us A Child Is Born." These performances also will feature the perennial audience favorite, the "Hallelujah Chorus."

Both performances will have vocal solos by soprano Sarah Asmar, mezzo-soprano Judith Bowers, tenor Joshua Kohl and bass Dashon Burton.

Admission is free for both, but a free-will offering will be accepted at the door. For more information, visit

"Our ‘Messiah’ performances with the New Haven Symphony have become a tradition in Hartford," says Ezequiel Menéndez. Sacred Sounds Concert Series music director. "We invite families and music fans also to join us this year for our special encore performance on Christmas Eve."

The Sacred Sounds Concert Series at the Cathedral of St. Joseph presents more than 15 full-scale concerts annually to the city of Hartford, making it one of the foremost music series in the region.

Headed by Dr. Menéndez, guest performers for the 2011-2012 season have included the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, The Hartt School orchestras and choirs, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Chorale, New Haven Chorale, Middletown Chorale, and Notre Dame de Paris organist Phillipe LeFebvre, as well as the cathedral’s renowned choirs and orchestras.

In 2007, William Boughton became the10th music director and principal conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Under his leadership, programs have expanded both geographically and musically, with concerts being performed in new venues, and new partnerships offering opportunities to share the NHSO’s high musical standards with audiences throughout Connecticut.