Judas Maccabaeus Concert

Taos Community Chorus (TCC), with conductor Erick Brunner and pianist Claire Detels, will present George Frideric Handel’s epic piece, Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63), an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 and based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell.

As Erick Brunner explains it, “The events represented in Judas Maccabaeus are from the period 170–160 BC when Judea was ruled by the Seleucid Empire which undertook to destroy the Jewish religion. Being ordered to worship Zeus, many Jews obeyed under the threat of persecution; however, some did not. One who defied was the elderly priest Mattathias who killed a fellow Jew who was about to offer a pagan sacrifice. After tearing down a pagan altar, Mattathias retreated to the hills and gathered others who were willing to fight for their faith. Mattathias’ son, Judas Maccabaeus, their leader, was victorious in winning back the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 164 BC. Handel’s music depicts the changing moods of the Jewish people as their fortunes vary from dejection to jubilation.”

In providing a personal view of the oratorio, Erick indicates, “I am personally very fond of this great choral work. It is hardly ever performed in modern times; to my mind a very significant loss to the listening public. Handel’s fabulously inventive composition is analogous in scope and concept to the great epic movies of Cecil B. DeMille in the 1950s – 60s.  It is grand and it is full of musical fireworks everywhere. I hope our audiences enjoy this music as much as all of us who are performing it have loved working on it.”

The Judas Maccabaeus concerts will take place on Saturday, May 5th, and Sunday, May 6th, at First Presbyterian Church of Taos and on Saturday, May 12th, and Sunday, May 13th, at St. James Episcopal Church of Taos. All performances begin at 3 p.m. With the Judas Maccabaeus concerts, TCC continues its celebration of 39 years of “creating community through song,” its mission.

Featured soloists for the concerts are Julia Armstrong, alto (Taos); Paul Bower, bass (for the May 13th and 14th concerts) (Albuquerque); Tjett Gerdom, bass (for the May 5th and 6th concerts) (Los Alamos); Salman Lee, tenor (Taos); and Jennifer Perez, soprano (Albuquerque).  Instrumentalists for the concerts are Rebecca Caron, cello (Taos), Claire Detels, piano (Taos) and Vickie Ford, harpsichord (Taos).

Tickets for the Judas Maccabaeus concerts are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and free for those 18 years old and under.

TCC’s members are a diverse group of volunteers who come from many parts of Taos County and beyond and have ages ranging from the early 20’s to the early 80’s. They are, among other things, teachers, administrators, painters, potters, builders, plumbers, computer technicians, furniture makers, doctors, clergy members, actors, directors, lawyers and landscapers. The singers come together to share their interest in choral music with each other as well as with their community.

For questions or more information about the concerts or to find out how to become a member of TCC for the fall 2018 season and beyond, email taoschorus@gmail.com.


$20 at the door
$15  for Seniors
Free for those 18 years and under!