//Ad libs: 'Tis the season

Monday, March 13, 2006

'Tis the season

At first I thought the California Bach Society had forgotten to update its website. But the choral group really is hosting a sing-it-yourself Messiah this Saturday in Palo Alto.

Messiah in the spring? Helen Barrios, vice president of the society, says it makes sense: this is the time of year Handel always performed it. Also, t
he California Bach folks are focusing on the lesser-known Parts II and III of the work. Barrios says the sections' themes -- such as resurrection -- seem apropos for Easter time.

Of course, there are also practical reasons, such as not having to vie with all the other groups throwing sing-it-yourself bashes in December.

Practicality aside, I’m getting a kick out of the event because it’s unexpected. Why not a March Messiah? Kudos to this and other arts organizations who try something different. Why not mix ballet and bluegrass music, like the
Smuin Ballet? Why not have artists paint your city utility boxes?

Which leads me to the coolest thing I’ve found on the Internet today. Officials in the city of Tempe, Arizona, have decided to design
city library cards with original artwork, commissioning four artists. Check it out (so to speak).

The California Bach Society’s Sing-it-Yourself-Messiah takes place this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto. Here's your ticket info.