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The Symphony's 'Messiah' Tours The City

Libby Day
Troy Peters

Some say the holidays aren't complete without seeing a production of Messiah. This year, Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's (YOSA) Troy Peters guest conducts the San Antonio Symphony's Messiah production. He says the tradition is warranted.

"The reason it's a tradition is because it's just full of amazing sounds. It's just a great thing to be in the room for," Peters says.

And between the San Antonio Mastersingers and the symphony itself, there will be no shortage of sound.

"We have four great soloists, and these are all young Texan singers from San Antonio and Houston, bringing all of this great, youthful energy. And then we have the San Antonio Master Singers, the great local chorus that is the resident chorus of the San Antonio Symphony," Peters says.

You have only three more opportunities this year to hear Messiah.

"On Friday night, we'll be at Coker United Methodist Church. On Saturday afternoon, we're going to do a matinee at Trinity Baptist Church. And on Sunday afternoon, we'll be at University United Methodist Church."

Peters says that rather than anchoring the production in the Tobin Center or the Majestic Theater, taking it to various parts of the city in unexpected venues wasn't happenstance. 

"Part of the mission of the San Antonio Symphony's Messiah is to travel around the city and to have access to this performance for people in lots of different places. And so, it's a neat chance to get into peoples' neighborhoods and meet them where they are."

I noted to Peters that it must really be exhilarating to be in the middle of all that music. He clearly enjoys it.

"When you're on the podium and the Hallelujah chorus kicks in and you've got 120 voices and the orchestra going strong, it's great, it's a lot of fun, and I'm very fortunate to do what I do" he said, then paused. "But the audience gets to feel that thing too. That's part of the reason why this is a great thing to come and enjoy.  Because you're part of this mass of human sound--humans getting together and making a remarkable sound. You don't want to miss it; it's just a great thing to be in the room for."

While he can't guarantee goose bumps, he predicts you will be moved.

"There's no question that Messiah is just filled with these hair standing up on the back of your neck moments. Just thrilling music."

Find more on the San Antonio Symphony production of Messiah here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii