The Hanson Place Seventh-Say Adventist Church played Handel’s “Messiah” on a huge screen on Saturday.
Handel’s “Messiah” wafted above Fort Greene on Saturday afternoon. Geraldine McMillian’s famous soprano could be heard a full
two blocks away from the Hanson Place Seventh-day Adventist Church, where the church had set up a 9×12-foot mega screen hoisted on a silver trailer to stream the event outside and project the music at high volume.
While the church’s Sanctuary Choir, accompanied by special guest soloists like Ms. McMillian, sang for parishioners and guests inside, pedestrians outside could watch the performance onscreen. The piece takes about two hours to sing, and began at 12 noon ending well after 2 p.m.
“There’s a lot of traffic outside,” explained Pastor Bob Mounter, “so we thought, ‘Why not bring the event to people passing by?’”
“For two years, I thought about bringing up the idea to the church and didn’t say anything,” he added, “but this year I decided to go for it.”
The choir has sung the “Messiah” at Christmastime for at least 35 years, but this is the first year that the church has brought the concert to the streets, renting a screen from Visible Display, a company that specializes in mobile screens for events and advertising.
Several members of the congregation stood outside to witness the event on screen for the first time and watch the reactions of the people passing. Locals seemed both curious and indifferent. One woman snapped a photo.
“It’s been a success so far,” said photographer and church member Harold Gadaire. “People have been stopping in the church.”
Pastor Mounter was so happy with the event’s results that he expressed plans to bring back the mega screen for future celebrations throughout the year.
This article was written by a New York Times reporter Jessie Kissinger who just happened to pass by the church last Sabbath.
Photo Courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/fort-greene/6537845163/sizes/z/in/photostream/