© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

San Antonio Mastersingers Reunite For Virtual Project

San Antonio Mastersingers
San Antonio Mastersingers

For those of you who look forward to the San Antonio Mastersingers’ performance of Handel’s Messiah every year, there’s bad news. And there’s good news. The bad news is you won’t get to see them perform it this year. That good news is a little further down.

The COVID-19 pandemic is to blame of course, and Board Member Marguerite McCormick reminds us that singing itself can be dangerous.

“The actual act of singing is part of what can produce particles in the air that can pass the virus around. So we have to wait till it's safe,” she said.

The Mastersingers are the official chorus of the San Antonio Symphony, and their 140 voices singing together can be quite dramatic. McCormick said the camaraderie goes on even when they’re not on stage.

“We're quite a wonderful community of individuals who come together each week not just to sing, but to socialize,” she said. “A musical family, and we miss everybody.”

They got together each week, at least until last March when the coronavirus lockdown began. But now they’ve bridged the physical separation for a new project. That project is the acapella singing of the holiday classic “Silent Night.”

The Mastersingers’ coming together wasn’t in the same room, but on the same computer screen. These zoom-style music projects are far easier to conceive, though, than to execute.

“Most of us don't have recording studios in our homes, and so I can't say that I know anybody that got it right the first time you really had to work at it,” McCormick said.

San Antonio Mastersingers

Through the magic of repeated attempts and video editing by Jason Murgo, the Mastersingers’ performance of the Christmas classic is complete, and quite stunning.

“When the final product was put out was absolutely thrilling,” she said.

And now for that good news we promised:

“KPAC is very generously rebroadcasting our performance of ‘The Messiah’ from December 2019,” she said. “It really was a very fine performance.”

TPR station KPAC 88.3 FM will rebroadcast “The Messiah” at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.

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