Messiah Highlights OBU’s Hanging of the Green

One of the most renowned pieces of English sacred music will be performed at one of Oklahoma Baptist University’s longest running events. The 68th annual “Hanging of the Green” service will take place on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium. OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts Choral Ensembles and Orchestra will be performing George Frederick Handel’s Messiah, which premiered in Dublin, Ireland, on April 13, 1742, and is considered the most often performed work for chorus and orchestra in Western culture. Conducted by David De Seguirant, OBU associate professor of music and director of choral activities, the event’s performers include the University Chorale, the Bison Glee Club and the Bisonettes. The 25-piece orchestra will feature members of the OBU music faculty and students from the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra. Soloists include Jeff Murdock, a senior from Hobbs, N.M.; Michael Slaughter, a senior from Oklahoma City, Okla.; Elise Anderson, a senior from Tishomingo, Okla.; Bethany Hailey, a junior from Raleigh, N.C.; Keri Burman, a senior from Edmond, Okla.; and Katie Overturf a freshman from Fort Smith, Ark. “It is always interesting to hear performances of Handel’s seminal work, Messiah, in part to see how different conductors interpret it,” said Kristen Todd, OBU’s assistant professor of music history and humanities. “I am looking forward to Dr. DeSeguirant’s reading of it, as it promises to be a hybrid between the original, Baroque concept with the chamber orchestra and organ continuo and the Romantic, 19th century ‘monster concert’ version with the exceptionally large chorus. “Our students and faculty are particularly suited to this work, as we have so many exceptionally strong vocalists, and this performance will be a marvelous opportunity to hear some outstanding singing from soloists and chorus,” said Todd. The first OBU Hanging of the Green ceremony was held in WMU Memorial Hall, one of the woman’s dormitories on campus. After singing carols, representatives from all dormitories lit candles of good will from the candle at WMU and carried the light to their own halls. The custom of Hanging of the Green has continued through the years, though it moved in 1945 to Brittain Hall Library, in 1957 to the University Auditorium, and in 1961 to Raley Chapel. For more information, contact the OBU Division of Music at 405-878-2306, or