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The Manhattan Project: Schiller Institute Chorus performs Handel’s Messiah

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A full house at All Souls Church in Manhattan.

Under the baton of Maestro John Sigerson, the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus and Orchestra demonstrated the quality of creativity necessary to reverse the crisis of civilization facing our nation and the world in two, back-to-back concerts in New York December 19 & 20. At the beautiful Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary/ St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday evening, the often-performed "Messiah", by George Frederic Handel (1684 -1759) was sung in the Italian bel canto style, at the Verdi tuning (middle C at 256 Hertz, A at 432). The Brooklyn concert was dedicated to the Principle of the Sanctity of Human Life, and was opened with a welcome and prayer by the Monsignor.

The soloists in both concerts were Rosa D’Imperio, soprano, Mary Phillips, mezzo-soprano, Everett Suttle, tenor, and Jay Baylon, bass-baritone. (See the programs). Maestro Sigerson was particularly attentive to Handel’s intention, his words, his voicing and his message, thus gripping the audience with a much richer and more profound "Messiah" than had been heard before.

On Sunday, December 20, young students, teachers, music lovers, church members, neighbors, musicians, people who got a flyer on the street, civic and political activists and curious individuals who never before heard a classical concert, filled the All Souls Unitarian Church to capacity. Lynn Yen, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture, which co-sponsored the event, welcomed the standing room only audience, who came to hear Handel’s Messiah speak to them of Peace on Earth and Good Will towards Mankind. Conceived as an intervention against the violence, the wars, and the lack of Classical education that permeate our depressed economy today, these beautiful concerts of the "Manhattan project" succeeded with flying colors. Many attendees signed up to join the choir, the Foundation and the Schiller Institute movement, and the New York City landscape has been transformed as a result of the performances at these two historic churches.