Review: A skid-row “Messiah,” with Street Symphony, L.A. Phil, community members

Posted on: December 13, 2016

Last week “on skid row in downtown Los Angeles, Street Symphony—an ensemble made up mostly of members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Colburn students performing outreach at jails, homeless shelters and mental-health institutions—offered its second-annual ‘Messiah Project,’ ” writes Mark Swed in Sunday’s (12/11) Los Angeles Times. “The Midnight Mission event included Street Symphony Chamber Singers, core of members from the Los Angeles Master Chorale along with amateurs, as well as Urban Voices Project, whose members are part of the skid row community.… Tenor Don Garza, a Desert Storm combat veteran who is a longtime skid-row resident, made every word in ‘Comfort ye’ intense. When he got to ‘that her iniquity is pardoned,’ … there were shouts of affirmation from the audience and members of the chorus had to put down their scores to dab their eyes…. The ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus … soared with unimaginable power…. Street Symphony’s founder, L.A. Phil violinist Vijay Gupta, told the crowd that ‘the musicians were walking away with a far greater gift than we can ever hope to give back to the community.’ … Even a ‘Messiah-ed’-out visitor could hear every note anew.”

Posted December 13, 2016