, Muskogee, OK


December 15, 2007

‘Messiah’ fulfills dream

Muskogee soprano always wanted to perform it

For Muskogee native, Sarah Coburn, singing soprano in “The Messiah” is a Christmas gift to herself.

“Growing up, I saw the performances, and in high school as a part of all-state choir, we got the honor of singing in the chorus,” Coburn said. “I never dreamed I would be the soloist. I am truly honored.”

Coburn will be joined by mezzo-soprano Charlotte Blakely; bass Richard Sutliff and tenor Robert Daniel, in the 44th annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 8 p.m. Monday, presented by Muskogee Community Chorus, at St. Paul United Methodist Church’s sanctuary.

Oklahoma is known for producing some of the best talent in diverse genres of music. And opera is no exception.

Coburn, who now calls New York home, said she had no idea she would be living her dream singing professionally.

“I had to study opera in college, like all the undergrads do,” she said. “It was then, I realized my voice was loud enough to carry over an orchestra without a microphone.”

Coburn received a master’s degree in music from Oklahoma City University and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Oklahoma State University.

This year will mark the 44th anniversary of Muskogee’s presentation. Under the direction of Ineta Bebb, an expanded chorus will perform the “Christmas Section,” with organist Michael Bedford. This is the opportunity for area residents to have the opportunity to experience the voice of Coburn, for free.

Connie Stout said she hopes every resident will come out and support the community in this Muskogee tradition.

“It’s a wonderful production,” Stout said. “We are so excited about everyone of our performers this year.”

Coburn said she is thrilled to be coming home for the holidays and enjoying a break before her busy schedule begins.

“You hope you can help other rising artists, and the presentation now helps produce scholarships for the community,” Coburn said. “The Messiah,” is beautiful and meaningful, and a real treat to sing every single time,” Coburn said. “I would hope that everyone would come to the performance. It is what Christmas is really about. It’s expressed through music, the language of the soul and I don’t know how much more meaningful it can get.”

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