Participating in the annual Messiah sing-in, always made me feel like the Season had begun. I was a member of the community chorus for many years, under the late Dr. Lee Kjelson. It was a wonderful feeling, singing the words from the Bible that foretold the coming of Jesus. Now, decades later, the Messiah sing-in tradition is still going strong.
At 2:30 p. m. on Dec. 9, the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus will present the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami in the 41st Annual Messiah Sing-in at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay. Dr. Kenneth Boos is the artistic director of this time-honored event, and Robert Gower and John Guarente are the conductors. Jay Brooks is the organist. The singers will be backed by the Alhambra Orchestra, conducted by Alfred Gershfeld.
The program will feature the Chorale in a brief concert featuring original works and familiar classical selections. Following the concert, community singers are invited to join the Chorale in the singing of the Christmas sections of Handel’s beloved Messiah.
Founded by Kjelson, the Civic Chorale has been a vital part of the South Florida musical community since 1970. the group is comprised of students and adult members of the community, who share a love for singing and musical excellence. The Chorale is housed at Miami-Dade College Music, Theater and Dance Department, at the Kendall campus. Rodester Brandon is the chairperson.
Singers are asked to bring their own Messiah score, if possible. A limited number will be available for use on the day of the concert.
This is the way it works: Rehearsal for participating singers will be at 2:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 4 p.m. Admission is free, but a goodwill offering will be collected. This year, Miami food trucks will be at the event.
For more information, contact Phee Price, executive director of the Chorale at 305-490-5930 You may also visit the Chorale’s website at, www.civicchorale.info.
String quartet goes to Washington
Congratulations to Miami pianist Alan Mason and Florida International University’s Amernet String Quartet, who on Dec. 6, will perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Mason is an associate professor of music at Barry University and the Amernet String Quartet is in residence at FIU. The musicians will perform in a concert called "From Psalm to Lamentation: A Concert of Cantorial Masterpieces," presented by Pro Musica Hebraica, an organization that was created by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Charles Krauthammer and lawyer-turned-artist Robyn Krauthammer to present three concerts a year featuring the music of Jewish composers. .
The Dec. 6 concert will pay homage to the golden age of cantors and to the liturgical music of modern times and will feature Cantor Netanel Hershtik and the Hampton Synagogue Choir.
In addition to the Kennedy Center performance, the concert will be presented on Dec. 2, at New York’s Museum at Eldridge Street.
Mason is the music director of Temple Israel of Greater Miami and has performed at the White House, Lincoln center and Carnegie Hall. He has also performed in Rome, the United Kingdom and Israel. He is a leading accompanist of Jewish music and also serves as the program director and accompanist of the Winter Jewish Music Concert presented annually here in Miami. that concert will be on Jan. 19, and will be broadcast live on the JLTV cable network.
The Amernet String Quartet, formed in 1991 while its founding members were students at the Juilliard School, is a highly acclaimed ensemble. The group, in residence at FIU since 2004, has performed across the United States as well as in Japan, Korea, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Romania, Switzerland and Mexico.
For more information on the Winter Jewish Music Concert, contact Mason at 305-772-6890 or email Robert S. Glazier at www.JewishConcert.org.
The Woman’s Club of Homestead will celebrate its long and rich history with an open house tea, from 2 to 4 p.n. on Dec. 1, at its clubhouse, 17905 SW 292nd St. The event will also focus on Homestead’s centennial celebration. Established in 1914, the Woman’s Club of Homestead has played an important role in the community.
The tea is free and open to the public.
The Miami Science Museum debuted its Hurricanes exhibit on Nov. 24 in an effort to help the public learn what it takes to predict, prepare for and protect against a hurricane. The project is in collaboration with State Farm and Florida International University.
The exhibit activities include climbing inside a full-scale P-3 hurricane hunter aircraft to experience what it’s like for pilots to fly through a swirling storm. You will also be able to test your skills against an impending disaster with the exhibit’s Hurricane Preparedness game, and you will be able to design, build and test a model house against hurricane-force winds. There will also be a 20-foot-long display case featuring artifacts from the 1992 Hurricane Andrew.
Admission to the exhibit is included with regular museum admission, adults $14.95; students with valid ID, seniors and children ages 3-12, $10.95. Admission is free for MiaSci members and children under 3. The museum is at 3280 S. Miami Ave. for more information call 305-646-4200 or visit, www.miamisci.org.
Dick and Kathleen Konicek-Morgan will present, "The Everglades: Through the Eyes of Explorers, Exploiters, and One Often Overlooked Preservationist," on Dec. 3, at the Bea Peskoe Lunchtime Lecture series, at the Capri Restaurant at 935 N. Krome Ave. in Florida City.
In their presentation, the Konicek-Morgans will tell the stories of the people who ventured into the Everglades; what they found and sometimes stole, and eventually, how one man helped fight to preserve it.
Dick Konicek-Morgan is a professor emeritus from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology and a doctorate from Columbia University. He has been a volunteer in the Everglades National Park for the past 12 years. Over the years, Konicek-Morgan developed a personal interest in Ernest Coe, often referred to as the "Father of the Everglades." He will speak about Coe’s leading role in the creation of the Everglades National Park in 1947.
Kathleen Konicek-Morgan is also a retired professor, who has an avid interest in plants. She is an award-winning botanical illustrator who has been featured in a number of solo and group exhibitions. She has also been a volunteer at the park for the past 12 years, the last nine of which have been devoted to botany. She is currently working on an exhibit about botanical exploration in the park that will appear in 2013, at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center.
Lunch will be available for $10, beginning at 11:30 a.m. by reservation only. Call Barbara at 305-230-9185 before 2 p.m. Friday to reserve.
The community is invited to a recital presented by the Performer’s Music Institute. The recital will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, at Miami Shores Community Church, 9823 NE Fourth Ave. and will feature students of the institute and young artists in voice and piano.
The program will include vocal selections from opera, musical theatre, art songs and popular music. The performers are, Eliezer Matos, baritone; Jose Vazauez , 18, bass-baritone; Katrina Bakas, lyric mezzo-soprano; Lisa Gansar Pitman, mezzo-soprano; Josephine Robinson, 11, piano; Miguel Llerena, tenor; Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste, lyric-spinto soprano; Lucia Minervini, soprano; William Cadena, lyric baritone and Chai Lin Chien, mezzo-soprano.
The singers will be accompanied by Gregory Szeto, Jared Peroune, and Chai Lin Chien.
Also, the first public performance of another excerpt from the opera, The Head of Medusa, by South Florida composer Michael Ross. At the institute’s June 2012 recital, one of its young artist Melissa Ruiz, sang Medusa’s Entrance, which, said Oscar Diaz Jr., is "full of difficult dramatic-coloratura runs and roulades." Diaz is the executive director of the Performer’s Music Institute and also its artistic director.
The recital will also feature Miguel Llerena singing a beautiful aria by Perseus, who will relate the story of how King Acrisius, disappointed by his lack of male heirs, is told by an oracle that he would be killed by his daughter’s son. Later, a fiery Athena, sung by Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste, who arms Perseus with her shield and instructs him that he can safely cut off Medusa’s head.
Diaz said the opera has been entered in national and international competitions and Ross will debut a concert version of the entire opera here in Miami in the spring.
The Performer’s Music Institute is at 701 NE 72nd St. For more information call Diaz at 305-757-7725.
The recital is free and open to the public.