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HISTORY OF THE UXBRIDGE MESSIAH SINGERS
The Uxbridge Messiah Singers followed the model of the Mendelssohn choir.
The first performance was presented by the Uxbridge Ministerial Association in 1980.
Early participants: Cathy Potter, Nancy Menagh, Roy Menagh (Director), Charlotte Mills, Donna Vanveghel, Dorothy Jovkovic (harpsichord), Paul Baster (Producer), Pauline & Newton Reed, Betty Tapscott, Ruth Wade, Carol & Jim Young, Michael Locke and Gardner Ward
.The first meeting was in the summer of 1980 to plan for the December performance. The first rehearsal in September had 40 in attendance. There were 12 weeks of rehearsals. Dorothy (Rolston) Jovkovic was the rehearsal pianist. Everyone volunteered to participate. Roy Menagh, the director was in Toronto, but moved back to Yellowknife after his course of study was completed. Rehearsals for the next performance were recorded and sent to Roy in Yellowknife for Roy’s consideration. Roy would call each week to tell what to rehearse that week. He arrived the day before the performances to audition the soloists and meet the orchestra.
Early supporters included: Ontario Arts Council, Triad Travel Service Ltd., Lenbrook Industries Ltd., Homan’s Department Store, Glitsch Canada Ltd. and Uxbridge Printing Co. Ltd.
In 1983 the Chamber Choir was formed and this has become the core group of the Messiah Singers.
Tom Baker has been the director since 1984.
Marta Gill designed the first Messiah Singers sweatshirt in 1994.
Messiah memories– Bev Foster
Over the years, I’ve played, sung or conducted my fair share of Messiahs, and I never tire of Handel’s inspired and magnificent work. Messiah is deeply spiritual and invigorating for me no whether I’m the music maker or the music listener.
I have been involved with the Uxbridge Messiah Singers for at least the last 8 performances as rehearsal pianist and harpsichordist with the orchestra. I’ve learned a lot from working with Tom Baker about the history of Messiah and baroque stylizations.
However, it’s the Uxbridge Messiah of 1982 that I will never forget. It was the night Rob asked me to marry him, and I said yes!
The Uxbridge Messiah Singers 2010 performance of Handel’s Messiah was the best yet! The enthusiastic audience packed into Trinity United Church in Uxbridge for two nights in December to hear this biannual production from the volunteer choir of 120 voices, the professional soloists and professional orchestra. Because of this amazing support the financial success of the event was significant. All of this presents the choir with the wonderful opportunity to share proceeds from their production with local charity. George Pratt, President of the choir, made his way around Uxbridge recently to provide donations to several Charities. The Messiah Singers is pleased to support the Loaves & Fishes Food Bank with 500.00, the Uxbridge/Ghana Medical Mission effort with 1,000.00, the Trinity United Church with 2,000.00 and the Uxbridge Music Scholarship Fund also with 2,000.00. These gifts are presented with grateful recognition to these organizations who work hard to improve the lives of others here and around the world or encourage the music education opportunities for some of our local young people. We are so pleased to help in this way. The Messiah Singers extend to all sincere appreciation for their support this year. It is because of your faithful support that Handel’s Messiah will continue as a tradition in Uxbridge, and the benefit will extend to the community we are so glad to call home! Thank you!
In 2012 Colin Ainsworth helped out by singing tenor in the 2nd show when the original tenor could not perform.
In 2018 Colin was one of the soloists for both performances.
Sasha Liebich-Tait, Jonathan Liebich, Jennifer Neveu, Adam Bishop
Mother and daughter at last together. Sang in the Messiah 2016. So grateful for the opportunity to sing together , my daughter lives in Nova Scotia.
Thanks so much.