The Messiah is in danger! 2015 could be the last year for this annual tradition.
Challenges Facing the Messiah
The annual production of The Messiah is facing a number of challenges that must change to ensure its survival.
It costs approximately $10,000 to put on The Messiah each year. This amount used to be covered by the budget allotted to the directors through the school long ago, however, for many reasons, this is no longer the case. Since the budget cannot cover the full cost, the boosters are spending at least $5,000 of our yearly budget to keep this tradition going. Our available budget is less and less each year due to decreased donations and fundraising monies raised. We cannot keep spending such a large portion of our budget when there are so many other costs we cover each year which affect the program as a whole. We need to come up with ideas to increase donations to help fund this special tradition.
The alumni are not participating in this tradition as they once were. This is a big part of making the performance a special experience for the students involved. Think back to your experiences as a student… I’m sure you will remember how special it was to feel a connection with your community and a camaraderie with adults (and possibly family members) who also sang this when they were students. We need to find ways to get alumni involved again.
The third aspect of this problem is the lack of audience support. We used to nearly sell out the main part of the auditorium each year. The last 2 years, we have only sold a little over 200 tickets to this event, despite it being advertised via fliers, Facebook and the newspaper. This aspect is also disheartening to the students. Imagine spending your Summer and Fall seasons working hard to learn the difficult pieces of the Messiah, or learning a solo and then performing in front of so few people. We need to find ways to increase marketing and increase attendance at the performance.
Save the Messiah Campaign
The Choir Boosters, in concert with interested alumni, have started a campaign to address each of the issues facing the Messiah, and to ensure that the Messiah continues as a vital part of both the WHS Choir Program and the Massillon Community.
The next meeting of this group will be Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 7:30pm in the WHS Choir Room (Door 22). Anyone who is interested is encouraged to attend.
Support the Save the Messiah Campaign
If you wish to donate to the Save the Messiah campaign, please make checks out to Massillon Choir Boosters, Inc., and put “Messiah donation” on the memo line. Checks may be sent to:
Save the Messiah
Attn: Vocal Music Department
1 Paul Brown Drive SE
Massillon, OH 44646