Monday, October 10, 2011

Roll Over Beethoven, I Need A Shot of Rhythm and Handel

It's Monday morning where I am and I'm on a slow start.  I was sick all weekend and I've got a cold medicine hangover.  Coffee just isn't cutting it, I need something a little stronger.  How about a shot of "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's Messiah or three?

First up is the Silent Monks.  I'm not certain who first came up with this idea but it's been performed by high school groups from Washington, Florida and Hawaii in the US and in Japan.  Hilarious!

Not silent is this amazing performance from the 1993 Grammys.  I can find lists of awards from that night but I can't find anything about performances.  I want to say that the traditional choir is from Philadelphia but I'd be depending on my faulty memory so don't quote me on that.  The gospel choir is directed by Mervyn Warren and is from Quincy Jones's project Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration which had won a Grammy in 1992 for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album.  I'm a total sucker for performers entering through the audience so this gave me chills.

Definitely from Philadelphia is this flashmob sponsored by the Knight Arts arm of the Knight Foundation.  This foundation has pledged to commit 1,000 Random Acts of Culture, one of the raddest pledges ever.  This one took place in October 2010 at Macy's in Center City Philadelphia.  When it went viral last year there were accusations of commercialization (Macy's is just kicking off Christmas shopping season, grumble grumble) but Macy's has this amazing asset that made it the perfect place to have such an event:  the 10,000 pipe Wanamaker Organ.  Notably, this is the only video where the audience (or most of it) is listening while standing, traditionally the way the audience is supposed to hear it.  Can you imagine suddenly being surrounded by 650 singers?  Definitely a "wish I could have been there" moment. 

I think I'm awake now.   


  1. The Handel one is neat! Thanks for waking me up, too.

  2. That was cool! Thanks so much for sharing. Woke up my Monday (late to the party as usual). ;)

  3. The Hallelujah vid gives hope to people like me who can't sing. We can still participate in a "silent choir." Thanks for the laugh!

  4. LOL, that's the only kind of choir I could ever join. You're welcome!


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