The BALM Society will present its Second Annual Sing-Along Messiah on December 14th, 2019. All Edmontonians are invited to become the chorus and sing along to one of the most beloved masterpieces of the holiday season, accompanied by an orchestra of strings, woodwinds, trumpet, and continuo. Many cities in North America have annual Sing-Along Messiah traditions, but before BALM’s first production in 2018, Edmonton has only had two other productions in the last 20 years. BALM’s goal is to continue producing a Sing-Along Messiah annually, and in their mission to support artistic leadership opportunities for women they have named Erin Craig (MMus, BMus) as artistic director and conductor of this year’s production.
In addition to supporting women on the podium, the BALM Society provides opportunities for emerging artists to sing arias in this production so that they may experience a solo opportunity with orchestra, choir and audience as they launch their musical careers.
In order to produce a work like Messiah, a matching set of orchestral and choral music, along with a conductor’s score, is required. Messiah is in the public domain, but the freely available sources for the music are not always accurate or reliable. In addition, very few Edmonton women have had the chance to conduct this masterwork. With the help of Field Law, BALM would like to purchase a set of orchestral parts and a conductor score from a reputable editor and publisher, ensuring that future generations of BALM artistic directors, emerging artists, orchestral musicians, and audience members will always have the benefit of performing the definitive version of Messiah.
Who Will it Benefit?
Each year, there will be new emerging artists, conductors, and audience members who will directly benefit from the purchase of this music.
Emerging artists (singers): In a typical concert presentation, there would be four soloists singing many solo arias; a major undertaking for any professional vocalist. In this presentation there will be twelve to fifteen soloists, each singing one or two arias. This format provides many soloists with an opportunity to sing in performance with an orchestra and experience being part of a large production.
Emerging artists (instrumentalists): Preparing to perform this piece in a chamber orchestra will provide emerging instrumentalists with an experience that is usually only available to the local professional orchestra.
Conductor and artistic director: The mission of the BALM Society is to provide leadership opportunities to women. This year Erin Craig will have the opportunity to lead the orchestra and choir. Our mission is to choose a qualified woman to conduct this event every year.
Community chorus singers: Edmonton is known as the city that sings, and the majority of those singers participate in non-auditioned community or church choirs. This event provides an opportunity to those singers to perform it with an orchestra, along with others who may have performed it before, and still others who don’t know the work at all and would like to experience it in an immersive way.