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Orchestra, Chorus Create Elegant 'Messiah' At Niles Church

The audience joined the singers for a portion of the famed holiday concert by Handel.


Months of practice and accomplished musicianship made for a distinguished "Do-It-Yourself Messiah" concert at St. John Brebeuf Tuesday.

The Niles Metropolitan Chorus, consisting of 37 voices, sang, and the Musica Lumina Chamber Orchestra, including six violin players, two viola players, two cello players, a double bass player, two trumpet players, timpani and organ, also performed (names below).

Soloists included Laura Langseth Brasky, Denise Knowlton, Christopher Reames and Michael Orlinsky.

Marek Rachelski, who came to St. John Brebeuf last year as Director of Liturgy and Music, conducted. Rachelski has master's degrees in organ performance and choral conducting, and has directed sacred music at many parishes in the Chicago area and the Diocese of Las Vegas.

Planning for the Do-It Yourself Messiah began back in July, when interested musicians and singers gathered for readings, and rehearsal began in earnest in September, Rachelski said. 

The Niles Metropolitan Chorus included: Connie Hacker, Susan Kehoe, Renate Lietz, Judy Partipilo Marth, Stacey Matschinegg, Nita Pasko, Stacie Rachelski, Monica Schoenfeldt, Olivia Schoenfeldt, Jan Skaja, Katie Zimmer, Valerie Abel, Val Bardelas, Marie Blecka, Jackie Carlton, Carol Corbett, Cathy Gough, Jean Kuna, Leena Joseph, Virginia Lis, Lois MacAdam, Marjorie Meier, Elaine Merkel, Phyllis Palliser, Pam Perez, Mary Quinn, Joyce Rachmaciej, Marge Rachmaciej, Eileen Velez, Jonah Figueroa, Marcel Miller, Michael Palliser, David Peterson, Mark Wozniczka, Peter Bidny, Alex Makris, John Zimmer. 

The Musica Lumina Chamber Orchestra included:
John Eckhardt, Whun Kim, John Ling, Bernardo Ares, Carol Kalvonjian, Ethan Hoppe, Vannia Phillips, Nora Williams, David Hoppe, Timothy Nicolia, Dale Amderson, Paul Semanic, Edgar Campos, Al Keeler, Edward Lally. 

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Regular Guy December 05, 2013 at 10:16 AM
We witnessed a magical moment at SJB's performance this week. Wow!
Bob Hemler March 30, 2014 at 11:31 PM
Let's clear up some things about Marek that this article does not seem to address. In regards to growing the music program at SJB, he has--but with his own professional people. Not a single parishoner has stepped forward, only his friends from the area. Why, you ask? Because this man is impossible to work with due to his lack of respect and care for anyone who is a lay, non-professional musician. Second: it must be nice to be running up the church budget, initiating the things that he and only he wants to do. Marek came with his own agenda and no patience and it's now the community that has to surrender. This used to be a parish that was welcoming and invited those who were non-musicians to participate. Instead, it has become a parish that is solely dedicated to the self-interests of one man while the pastor sits back and just lets it happen. Thank you Marek for taking away the one aspect of liturgy that we have always valued and downgrading it. Encore, bravo!

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