Orphanos and Memphis Symphony Orchestra presents Memphis Messiah
By Katie Pemberton
The Orphanos Foundation, in partnership with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, will host the fifth annual Memphis Messiah benefit concert, a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis on Friday, December 10 at 8pm.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra will be joined by voices from select local choirs, including the Rhodes MasterSingers and the Independent Presbyterian Church choir. The piece, which will be conducted by Andrew Altenbach, will also feature solos from soprano Awet Andemichael, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Wor, tenor John McVeigh, and bass Derrick Parker. Tickets range from $15 to $25 and may be purchased from Memphis Symphony Orchestra by calling 901-537-2525 or visiting memphissymphony.org.
Since 1952, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra has created meaningful experiences through music in the Mid-South. Today more than 400 musicians, staff, and volunteers comprise the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Chorus, and the Memphis Symphony League operating educational programs, organizing community engagement events, and performing concerts.
“This event brings together one of the greatest musical compositions ever written and some of the best talent from our area and beyond in the comfort and acoustic splendor of the Cannon Center,” said Ryan LeFleur, Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s executive director. “And it’s for a very worthy cause – the Orphanos Foundation.”
Proceeds from ticket sales of this public performance will fund three special performances, to which Orphanos invites more than 5,000 fourth and fifth grade students from various inner city and Jubilee Schools to enjoy an abbreviated, hour-long version of Handel’s Messiah. During the week leading up to the concert, participating schools are provided with a curriculum to teach students about Messiah, classical music, concert etiquette, music vocabulary, and musical notation.
“Throughout the year our mission is to meet the global needs of orphaned children, but during the holiday season we add an additional focus on the local needs of Memphis’ inner city students,” said Wayne Sneed, Orphanos’ founder and president. “It brings us great joy to be able to share this once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience with children who otherwise might not be exposed to a composition with such a lasting impact on classical music.”
Founded in 1997, Orphanos is a Christian organization that seeks to meet the needs of children in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on orphaned children. Orphanos meets a global need with a local response through partnerships with orphanages around the world. Funded entirely by donations, Orphanos raises funds and gives resources, financial and otherwise, to these orphanages. The organization also prays and asks its supporters to pray for these children and orphanage staff. Orphanos organizes on-site projects with these children to change their world and work together to impact the city around them. Hundreds of individuals from churches and local businesses in the Memphis area have traveled with Orphanos to visit these children in recent years. Orphanos has a policy of 100 percent pass-through, which means every penny designated for these orphanages is passed on to meet the children’s needs. For more information, visit orphanos.org.
To order tickets by phone with Visa, American Express, or MasterCard, call the Memphis Symphony Orchestra Box Office at 901-537-2525, visit the MSO office at 585 South Mendenhall Road (9am-5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-2pm on concert Saturdays) or visit their website at MemphisSymphony.org. Student and group discounts are available. This concert is open to Arts Access patrons, enabling those with food stamp, TennCare, or Church Health Center cards to secure remaining tickets free 15 minutes prior to the concert.