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On Friday December 2, 2016 the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts (BSPA) presented George Frideric Handel's Messiah, a decades-long Brownsville tradition that welcomes the arrival of Christmas in a magnificent manner. It was fantastic!

This year's Messiah was the result of an unprecedented coalition created in hope of achieving artistic excellence in a spirit of inclusion and collaboration.

It took a grant awarded to the BSPA by the National Endowment for the Arts, matching funds from our benefactors, help from the Texas Commission on the Arts, formation of the Brownsville Festival Orchestra, booking the guest soloists, consent from three public school districts, participation by five high school choirs from Brownsville, San Benito & Harlingen and countless rehearsals by 150+ singers and musicians led by the UTRGV Master Chorale.

Across-the-board support by the UTRGV School of Music and UTRGV Patron of the Arts, to whom we are most grateful, was necessary to produce the 2016 Messiah. This may have been one of the largest chorale undertakings that has ever taken place in the Rio Grande Valley.

Dr. Sean TaylorDr. Sean Taylor DMA, head of UTRGV Master Chorale in Brownsville is the individual largely responsible for making this massive presentation a reality. Named Program Director by the National Endowment for the Arts, the admirable Dr. Taylor is, of course, its conductor and deserves most, if not all, of the credit.

This exceptional coalition produced an additional and most welcome result. Our grant was extended by the NEA to cover, aside from the Messiah, at least three performances of the master chorale work Requiem in D minor (K.626) by the iconic composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Requiem will take place in Brownsville and possibly Harlingen in early April of 2017.

We couldn't be more thankful to the NEA, the UTRGV School of Music and UTRGV Patorn of the Arts for granting us this wonderful opportunity.

Thank you Brownsville for supporting the Performing Arts!

Merry Christmas!

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