enculturating las vegas into the next millennium... art, dance, film, music, poetry, theater, history, nature and everything else that enriches the lives of those who live and visit southern nevada... Since 2003...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society rocks Mendelssohn's St. Paul...

Though St. Paul's oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn is not as widely performed as George Frideric Handel's Messiah it is nonetheless one of the most important choral pieces of the early 19th century. Rarely performed in its entirety because of its length, the Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society (SNMAS) Chorus and Orchestra were up to the challenge and Sunday afternoons performance was truly divine.

I knew we were in for a treat when the choir streamed on to the stage and filled up the stall with almost 80 singers, not to mention an orchestra of over 30! With Dr. Douglas Peterson conducting 114 singers and musicians, the performance at the Artemis Ham Concert Hall at UNLV was one that will not be easily forgotten.

Composed by Felix Mendelssohn and first performed in 1837, St. Paul is a liturgical story of martyrdom, divine intervention and the celebration of the nascent Christian church. Influenced by the new and old testaments of the Bible the concert is set in two parts. The whole performance is roughly two hours long with a short intermission.

To witness such a complicated yet amazing performance by one of the most underrated composers of the 19th Century left me with a desire to inquire more about a man who only lived to the age of 38. It is without a doubt that some of the most beautiful musical compositions were born during the Romantic Era and Mendelssohn was a significant part of that movement. With composers like Beethoven opening the door and fellow composers such as Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin and Hector Berlioz following-suit, the 19th Century is rich with music that permeate our lives today.

With SNMAS performing St. Paul's this past weekend and La Misa Criolla just a few weeks earlier at the Winchester Community Center I wonder to myself why this community is not more supportive of this amazing organization. So I leave a challenge to all of my readers; go out and recruit your friends to come and witness the rest of SNMAS performances. Follow the link below for a complete list of concerts and get yourselves enculturated. No excuses!!!

For more information about the Southern Nevada Musical arts Society please follow this link - http://www.snmas.com/


The Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society
Chorus & Orchestra at the
Artemis Ham Concert Hall on the campus
of  UNLV
(Photos by Brian Paco Alvarez)
Brian Paco Alvarez enculturating Las Vegas into the millennium...

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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