Review of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presentation of the sixth annual performance of Messiah…Refreshed! on November 27 at 2PM

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Handel’s Messiah Refreshed

By Diane DiResta

The season is here. And nothing signifies that better than the performance of Handel’s Messiah. The first performance of Messiah commenced on November 27th at Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium. It was performed by DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York).

The program was conducted by DCINY and Principle Conductor, Jonathan Griffith along with the DCINY orchestra and a 200 plus chorus. Soloists included:

• Penelope Shumate Soprano

• Claudia Chapa, Mezzo -Soprano

• John McVeigh Tenor

• Christopher Job, Bass

Conductor Jonathan Griffith was able to achieve a big sound without losing focus of the music. Some of the soloists had an initial challenge being heard over the powerful sounds of the orchestra and chorus but did well to keep pace.

The work, composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, is the story of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection. The first part covers the prophesies of Christ’s birth from the book of Isaiah and psalms. The Christmas story is heard in three songs, “For unto us a child is born,” “There were shepherds abiding in the fields, “and “Glory to God”.

The second part does not tell the story of the crucifixion, but instead is a meditation of Christ’s death and the need for mankind’s redemption. It ends with the Hallelujah chorus which celebrates man’s redemption.

Part three is about the significance of the resurrection for mankind.

While the staging in the auditorium was bare lacking any of the décor that is associated with the Christmas season, it was soon forgotten. The orchestra and chorus filled the stage serving as the human backdrop infused with energy and excitement. This was most evident when the crowd spontaneously stood for the powerful Hallelujah chorus. One couldn’t help but to sing along with the performers. The soloists and chorus were met with cheers and applause. Conductor John Griffith brought the music t a climax. The auditorium was filled with energy, passion, ending the evening feeling excited and refreshed! DCINY did not disappoint. Worth attending.


Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) is the leading producer of dynamically charged musical excellence. With its unforgettable concert experiences in renowned venues, empowering educational programs, and its global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance.

It was truly a great honour to perform at the famous stage of Carnegie Hall in the presence of a talented conductor and accompanied by a wonderful orchestra. It was an unforgettable experience for me as a member of the Music Association of Auckland to participate at a world class concert. “Two cultures, One dream” – I wish the world is a peaceful place forever!

— XiuYin Chen

“Our experience with DCINY, without exception, was incredible! We were amazed at the warm and personal attitude of you and your staff. Not once did I see a frown from your people — even when answering the same question over and over.


— Marvin Gaspard, Director of Music, St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church

“Thanks so much for everything, for the organization, for the kindness of everyone. Evelyne and I have very much appreciated the welcome.

Everybody was very happy to be able to perform in such a great place, and we had a great time, it was such an experience…”

— Catherine and Evelyne from Choral Emi’Chante (France)

About Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east side of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park.

Designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill and built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1891, it is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music. Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming, development, and marketing departments, and presents about 250 performances each season. It is also rented out to performing groups. The hall has not had a resident company since 1962, when the New York Philharmonic moved to Lincoln Center’s Philharmonic Hall (renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973 and David Geffen Hall in 2015).[5]

Carnegie Hall has 3,671 seats, divided among its three auditoriums.

Carnegie Hall contains three distinct, separate performance spaces: Main Hall Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, Weill Recital Hall.

Carnegie Hall is named after Andrew Carnegie, who funded its construction. It was intended as a venue for the Oratorio Society of New York and the New York Symphony Society, on whose boards Carnegie served. Construction began in 1890, and was carried out by Isaac A. Hopper and Company. Although the building was in use from April 1891, the official opening night was May 5, with a concert conducted by maestro Walter Damrosch and great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

. Originally known simply as “Music Hall” (the words “Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie” still appear on the façade above the marquee), the hall was renamed Carnegie Hall in 1893 after board members of the Music Hall Company of New York (the hall’s original governing body) persuaded Carnegie to allow the use of his name. Several alterations were made to the building between 1893 and 1896, including the addition of two towers of artists’ studios, and alterations to the smaller auditorium on the building’s lower level.


This year’s performance of their signature version of the 1959 Beecham/Goossens orchestration features performers from around the world and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera

Performance will be livestreamed via DCINY’s Facebook page, whose previous livestreams have been viewed by over 1.5 million people around the world

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 — Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) is proud to present its sixth annual performance of Messiah…Refreshed! on November 27th at 2PM, bringing their signature version of Handel’s Messiah in the Thomas Beecham/Eugene Goossens 1959 re-orchestration for full symphony orchestra to Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The performance will feature an international choir made up of singers all over the world, as well as soloists from the Metropolitan Opera and the award-winning Distinguished Concerts Orchestra led by maestro Jonathan Griffith.

“It has become an annual tradition for the Distinguished Concerts International organization to present a version of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ far outside the historically informed mainstream…the delicious symphony-orchestra arrangement that Eugene Goossens prepared for Thomas Beecham’s 1959 RCA recording of the work, which has about the same relationship to other “Messiahs” that chocolate layer cake has to a Ritz Cracker.”

– The New York Times

The performance will be livestreamed via DCINY’s Facebook page. Previous livestreams of DCINY’s concerts, including Christopher Tin’s Calling All Dawns at Lincoln Center, Military Wives Choir from the deck of the Intrepid, and the gospel concert Show Me Love have reached over 1.5 million people worldwide.

This powerful rendition of the beloved holiday favorite – dubbed “not your great-grandfather’s Messiah” by New York Concert Review – takes full advantage of a large-scale orchestra and chorus, emphasizing the majesty and grandeur of Handel’s telling of Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection. DCINY has become the foremost champion of this re-orchestration, with their annual performance kickstarting the holiday season while garnering sell-out crowds and critical acclaim.

“[DCINY’s ‘Messiah’] features a massive orchestra and choir that give Handel’s music the ravishing colors and heft of Berlioz or even Verdi, more than the Baroque era.”

– BBC Music Magazine

This year’s performance will include over 16 participating ensembles and performers from across multiple countries and continents, including Hong Kong, UK, Poland, and Canada among others – a testament both to DCINY’s international reach and reputation, as well as the timeless, worldwide appeal of Messiah. The soloists for the concert include Metropolitan Opera stars John McVeigh (tenor), and Christopher Job (bass), as well as Penelope Shumate (soprano) and Claudia Chapa (mezzo-soprano). Maestro Jonathan Griffith will lead the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, winner of the 2014 and 2015 American Prize for professional orchestra.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now from $20, available over the phone by calling Carnegiecharge at 212.247.7800, in person at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, or online at:

Sunday, Nov 27, 2016
2:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Penelope Shumate (Soprano), Claudia Chapa (Mezzo-Soprano)
John McVeigh (Tenor), Christopher Job (Bass)
Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Distinguished Concerts Orchestra
Jonathan Griffith, conductor
More information about the concert:

Participating Ensembles

Appleton Thorn Village Choir
Holy Family Cathedral Choir
Le Choeur de la Cité
Hope Chancel Choir
Lincoln-Way Area Chorale
Utah Conservatory Choral Society
Valley Voices Community Choir
Golden Isles Community Messiah Chorus
Cantare Chorale of the Sierra Foothills
Cappella Gedanensis
The Joyful Band of Singers
D.M. Davis Choirs
Fort Walton Beach Community Chorus
Masterworks Choir of Enterprise
The Orem Chorale
St. Helena Chamber Choir
Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Chorus
The New Tecumseth Singers/The Dufferin Concert Singers
The Washington International Chorus
Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong
About Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY)

Founded in 2007 by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, with its first public concert presented on January of 2008, DCINY is a leading producer of dynamically-charged musical entertainment in renowned venues. With its unforgettable, world-class concert experiences, empowering educational programs, and global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance. Commemorating their 10th Anniversary season in 2018, DCINY is proud to have presented life-changing performances for over 40,000 performers and 170,000 audience members since its inception.

In addition to being selected three times to the Inc. 5000 listing, DCINY also recently received national recognition with the 2014 and 2015 American Prize in conducting – professional orchestra division to DCINY Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith and the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, and the 2015 American Prize in Arts Marketing to DCINY General Director Iris Derke and the DCINY Team.

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