Cultural Ignorance

In 1953 I moved from Colorado to Muncie, Indiana. It was my junior year of high school and the big city environment was foreign to me. Muncie is a university town, and it was there that I began to realize how protected I had been from the finer things of culture. Other than a “field trip” during grade school to hear the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra introduce instruments and perform a few selections, I had remained pretty much unaware of the world of classical music.

It was at Christmastime my first year in Muncie that a young college man from my church invited me to go with him to a Sunday afternoon performance of Handel’s Messiah. I had no idea how special that afternoon would be for me.

Six grand pianos were lined across the front of the Muncie Field House stage. A massive choir stood behind them on risers, and a few (maybe four or five) men stood to the side of the stage, trumpets in hand.

For almost three hours I sat enraptured as beautiful sounds filled the auditorium and the life of Christ was presented in music. The solo voices, the skills of the pianists, and the proficiency of the trumpeters were beyond any abilities I had ever imagined.

That cold December afternoon I fell in love with Handel. I have heard the Messiah performed many times in subsequent years. I never tire of the beautiful music or the message.

George Friderick Handel

-Picture from Wikipedia


  1. My first time of hearing the entire Messiah, I was in 8th grade and my BFF, Martha Hall invited me to go to the West Virginia University's choral department's production. I sat spell bound for the entire presentation!

    1. Captain Nan, the Messiah in its entirety is very moving. This is the only time I heard the complete work. Many times since then I have been to "edited" performances. I think universities often present some version of the entire work.