His first Messiah in Tucson

TSO Music Director José Luis Gomez will conduct excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 14 and 15.

Ever since it formed its chorus in 2003, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra has performed Handel’s “Messiah” during the holidays.

This year, the orchestra and chorus, with Music Director José Luis Gomez at the podium, is performing excerpts from “Messiah” on a program that also includes Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No. 8, best known as the “Christmas Concerto.”

Will step away from the podium and pick u phis violin to play solo parts in the Brandenburg and the Corelli. We also can expect to hear the TSO Chorus, under the direction of Bruce Chamberlain, perform the beloved “Hallelujah” chorus with soloists tenor Paul D’Arcy and soprano Emily Birsan. And don’t be surprised if people around you start singing along. Heck, that’s the reason you go to see “Messiah,” which in its full glory runs about 2? hours. The “Hallelujah” is soul-lifting; it will make you forget that you still have more unchecked boxes than checked on your holiday to-do list.

The orchestra will perform its “Messiah & Bach” concert twice this weekend: at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Catalina Foothills High School, 4300 E. Sunrise Drive. Tickets are $46 to $86.

The program also includes Handel’s Water Music, Suite No. 2.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to tucsonsymphony.org.

Cathalena E. Burch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.