This exuberant reinvention of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah will have you rejoicing in the aisles. Join renowned soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, Karen Marie Richardson, and legendary pianist Alvin Waddles, along with a symphony orchestra and a choir of over 100 local members for this high-energy, feel-good production.

Originally conceived in 1992 by Music Director Marin Alsop and arranged by Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson, Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah first premiered at Lincoln Center with the Concordia Orchestra and the Morgan State Choir in 1993, earning a reputation for its lively vocals and communal revelry.

The conductor for Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah’s 40-piece symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble is Suzanne Mallare Acton, who serves as Artistic and Music Director of the Rackham Choir in Detroit, Michigan and Chorus Master for the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Dr. Leo Davis, Minister of Worship at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, will conduct the Too Hot to Handel choir of over 100 Mid-South vocalists.

Too Hot to Handel Choir Auditions

Auditions for the Too Hot to Handel Choir will be held February 17, 2018, from 10am to 1 pm.

Auditions will be held at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education at 225 S. Main in Downtown Memphis.

Do I have to prepare anything for the audition? Applicants should be prepared to sing a gospel or spiritual selection of their choice accompanied by piano (pianist supplied) and may bring their own sheet music (no recorded music allowed). We will also review one or two short snippets of a piece that will be used for audition purposes.

Do I have to audition if I have performed Too Hot To Handel in the past? Yes. Our voices change over time, and the audition process ensures that you are properly assessed to sing at a range that will be comfortable for you.

Do I need to be able to sight read music in order to audition? Not necessarily. During the audition process, most everyone has shown proficiency in learning the music either through sight reading or by ear. Regardless of your learning style, if you are accepted into this year's choir, the more time you spend outside of rehearsal learning the music, the more likely you will be able to gain confidence with the piece during rehearsal.

When will I find out if I passed auditions? Typically it will take a couple of days to review all of the notes from the audition process. However, our goal is to let people know within the week of the first audition.