Best Bets: Christmas concerts around the metro-east

December 4, 2013 

Metro-east choruses and musicians have been as busy as elves wrapping up their colorful Christmas presents to the community. Here are a few coming up this weekend:

Masterworks 'Messiah'

The Masterworks Chorale and Children's Choruses will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Clare Church in O'Fallon.

The Chorale, directed by Dr. Stephen Mager, will present "A Masterworks Christmas," featuring Part One of Handel's glorious "Messiah." It also will include favorite carols, a beautiful candlelight procession, and a performance by the Masterworks Children's Choruses.

And, you might want to tune up your pipes before you go, so you can shine in the audience sing-along.

Mager called "Messiah" an inspired work that "has transcended its own time and purpose, to become a fundamental expression of confident faith for every age. I look forward to bringing this great music to life for our community."

Guest soloists are soprano Shannon Love; mezzo-Soprano Jane Rownd; tenor Don Frazure; and bass Robert Reed. A full orchestra with members of the St. Louis Symphony will perform with the chorale.

Individual tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door for adults; $5 in advance and $10 at the door for students. Tickets are available from chorus members or by phone (618-236-0182). Groups of 10 or more receive a 20 percent discount on tickets ordered in advance.

St. Clare Church is at 1411 Cross St. in O'Fallon.

Concert at St. Paul

The Masterworks Chorale, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will present a preview of Sunday's concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of St. Paul United Church of Christ, 115 West B St. in Belleville.

The concert features Part One of Handel's "Messiah."

The concert, presented courtesy of the Wagner and Florek families, is a benefit for St. Paul's home building project. Admission is free, but a free-will offering will be taken.

Collinsville Chorale

The Collinsville Chorale has something special planned for its 20th anniversary concert, "Christmas with the Chorale."

The Chorale, 60 singers strong, is preparing two concerts of Christmas favorites, at 7 p.m. Friday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 304 South St. in Collinsville, and at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 519 E. Fourth St. in Alton.

At its last concert, the Chorale let the audience vote for their Christmas favorites to be included in this concert. So, you will hear "Silent Night," "Little Drummer Boy," "The First Nowell" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It will also feature a string trio and "O Holy Night" with soloist Mark Parker.

Admission is free; a free-will offering will be taken.

Grand Christmas

St. Paul United Church of Christ in Waterloo has a "Grand Christmas" concert planned for you at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The 8th annual concert features St. Paul's pianists, orchestra, bell choir, harps and Chamber Choir. Amission is free; a free-will offering will be taken. The church is at 200 N. Main St. in Waterloo.

Ring in the season

The Gateway Ringers will present a concert of holiday favorites with five octaves of handbells and three octaves of chimes at 3 p.m. Sunday at Our Lord's Lutheran Church in Maryville.

The Gateway Ringers is an auditioned community choir of 14 handbell ringers from the St. Louis area and metro-east.

The concert is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the concert. Donations will be accepted to cover transportation costs; Gateway Ringers CDs will be available for purchase.

The church is at 150 Wilma Drive in Maryville.

Greenville concert

The 110-voice Greenville Choral Union and the 35-piece Orchestra will celebrate their 83rd performance of Handel's "Messiah" at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Whitlock Music Center at Greenville College.

There also will be an audience sing-along. Admission is free; a free-will offering will be taken. The concert will be broadcast live on WGRN-FM, 89.5.

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