Musical Club set to perform ‘Messiah’

By Brenda Maguire

NEW BRITAIN — Despite a lack of funding, the New Britain Musical Club will be holding its annual performance of George Fredrick Handel’s “Messiah” on Nov. 27, at the Church of St. Jerome on Slater Road in New Britain.

“Quite a few people have said to me, ‘It’s not Christmas if I don’t see the Messiah,’ ” said Geraldine Ganzer, co-president of the club.

Over the last four years, the club has had a difficult time with funding the “Messiah” and other events because it no longer receives assistance from the city.

In 2008 and 2009, the club, founded in 1920, did not provide the “Messiah,” a show that had been performed for over 50 years, because it did not have the money.

The show costs $5,000 to put on. The money is used for paying the New Britain symphony, soloists, conductors and rehearsal accompaniment along with other costs.

“We like to give a donation to the church because we are using their facility,” said Chuck Lunn, co-president of the club.

This year the club has asked soloists to volunteer their time because they do not have the money to pay them.

There is no charge to attend the “Messiah,” so the club relies on donations to put on the show.

The New Britain Musical Club, which has just over 40 members, is going into its 92nd season.

The mission of the club is, “To promote musical culture in and around New Britain.”

Anyone wishing to be a member can contact the club; there is a $25 annual fee.

In addition to the “Messiah,” the club holds musical programs about four or five times a year at St. Jerome Church. In the past, the club has brought in performers such as The Sam Kimble Band, the Hartford School for Performing Arts, and the New Britain High School Show Choir.

“It’s a shame because people in New Britain don’t realize this still exists,” Lunn said.

To donate to the club or for more information contact Geraldine Ganzer at (860) 223-0897 or

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