Join us on December 7th and 8th, 2023, for a cherished holiday tradition as the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra presents “Messiah” with the GLCO Choir. Experience the enduring cultural impact of George Fredric Handel’s masterpiece, “Messiah,” believed to have been performed every single year since its creation in 1741. Handel’s composition, which he completed in just 24 days, continues to captivate audiences with its timeless beauty and profound storytelling.
Handel’s “Messiah” is a musical journey that blends different national styles, from French Baroque to Italian opera and distinctly Germanic orchestration, creating a unique and eclectic experience. The instrumental preludes exude the opulence of the French court, while the vocal writing reflects Handel’s deep study of Italian opera. This oratorio, narratively rich and spiritually transcendent, draws from passages in the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalter, making it a work of broad appeal.
In addition to “Messiah,” we will also present Gerald Finzi’s “In Terra Pax.” Finzi’s music, marked by personal tragedy and a love for the English countryside, offers a sense of peace and equanimity, even in the face of life’s challenges. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of these timeless compositions, and join us for a holiday concert that is both spiritually uplifting and artistically enriching. Save the date, and let the music of Handel and Finzi fill your heart with the joy of the season.
Violinist, violist, conductor and professor Dr. Eric Lawson has had a varied career in performance and education. Past performances as a conductor, soloist and lecturer have taken him to Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Romania and Scandinavia. Before returning to his home state of Michigan, he was based in North Dakota where, in addition to serving as a violin instructor at Bismarck State College, Jamestown College, and the University of Mary, he was also concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and established the Bismarck-Mandan Youth Symphony. Other former academic appointments have included Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Central College in Pella, Iowa and the University of North Dakota where he founded the string program and the UND Chamber Orchestra.
Here in Michigan, Dr. Lawson as been very active with the Alpena Symphony Orchestra as its concertmaster, conductor and president of the board. He also performs with many other orchestras in Northern Michigan and participates in the Traverse Symphony as a first violinist, in the Gaylord Symphony as concertmaster and as assistant concertmaster in the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.
And finally, in what has been one of the most important experiences of his life outside of music, he also served almost four years as an Alpena County Commissioner, representing Ossineke and Sanborn Townships. In addition to serving as chair of the Salary and Personnel Committee, he also served on the Airport, Ambulance, District Court, Circuit Court Management and Jail Committees. He also represented Alpena County in Gaylord with the Northern Michigan Regional Entity Substance Use Disorder Board and continues to serve on the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Board. Dr. Lawson resides in Ossineke with his wife and two children.