Aspen Choral Society’s ‘Messiah’ goes virtual |

Aspen Choral Society’s ‘Messiah’ goes virtual

Staff report

The Aspen Choral Society’s 43rd consecutive performance of Handel’s “Messiah” will take place this year as a “360” virtual choir event.

The Aspen Choral Society has performed the holiday favorite in Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs since 1977. This year during the COVID-19 pandemic will be no exception, music director Paul Dankers said in an announcement of the virtual program Monday.

“We knew we had to do something unique to maintain our long tradition of ‘Messiah’ performances while also doing our part to keep our singers and community safe,” Dankers sais. “‘Messiah’ is not only a local holiday favorite, but an essential experience for our outstanding vocal and instrumental musicians. We couldn’t miss it because of COVID.”

Aspen Choral Society is taking advantage of the scenic Roaring Fork Valley to provide the backgrounds and visual effects that will add dimension to the recorded voices of the choir members. In addition, Dankers is using technology that allows the viewer to experience the choir performance in 360 degrees. Production is already underway and the program will be released on the Aspen Choral Society’s YouTube channel in late December.

The Aspen Choral Society also is planning a virtual fundraiser at 7 p.m. Thursday. The event, hosted by choral society board president Tamela Kenning, will be broadcast on the choir’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. It will feature a performance by singer-songwriter Mack Bailey and virtual silent auction with a suggested donation of $5 per viewer.

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