MESSIAH....REFRESHED!

MESSIAH....REFRESHED!
Sunday, Nov 25, 2018
2:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
George Frideric Handel: Messiah
Thomas Beecham/Eugene Goossens' 1959 Re-Orchestration for full symphony orchestra
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Penelope Shumate, Soprano
Claudia Chapa, Mezzo-Soprano
John McVeigh, Tenor
Christopher Job, Baritone
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Cantabile Singers of Truro
Mennonite Choral Society
Milwaukee Area Messiah Community Chorus
Georgetown Presbyterian Church Choir Ensemble
The Doha Singers
Chesapeake Community Messiah Choir
Grande Prairie Regional College Concert Choir
Hymnus
Symphony Choir of Cape Town, South Africa
First Baptist Church Choir
Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong
Duncanville Community Chorus sponsored by First Presbyterian Church Duncanville
Aspen Choral Society
Calvary Festival Choir
Chancel Choir of Laguna Presbyterian Church
East Hants Choral Society
Brentwood Community Chorus
Baha'i Choral Festival Choir

Cantabile Singers of Truro

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Christopher Bowman
Christopher Bowman (M. Mus, B. Mus) enjoys making music in many forms – as a conductor, solo and choral singer, and educator. He is full-time Minister of Music at First United Church in Truro, Nova Scotia, and Artistic Director of the Cantabile Society, where he conducts the Cantabile Singers, co-conducts the Cantabile Boys’ Choir, and accompanies the Cantabile Impact! youth choir. He also sings with the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir. Chris loves working with singers of all ages and stages, and is sought after as a workshop clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer.

The Cantabile Singers of Truro is a mixed voice ensemble committed to excellence in choral performance. Formed in 1981, the choir provides eclectic concert programming for its audience in Truro and around the province, ranging from large scale classical works to a range of folk, popular, multinational, and contemporary styles. In recent years, Cantabile has sung with orchestras, with Kenny Rogers, and Coco Love Alcorn. The choir is part of the Cantabile Society, which has two children’s choirs and a youth choir. Indeed, Cantabile aims to be a place where all can sing with style!

Mennonite Choral Society

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Brent Hyman
Having spent more than 11 years teaching public school, Brent Hyman is currently the Director of Music and Worship Coordinator at First Mennonite Church in Berne, Indiana, where he is in his 20th year as the conductor of the Mennonite Choral Society. He has earned both his B.S. and M.M. degrees from Ball State University and frequently serves as a guest choral clinician throughout northern Indiana. His passion for teaching choral music has also afforded him the opportunity to conduct the Indiana Middle School All State Choir and teach choral methods at Taylor University.

From its first concert in 1891, the Mennonite Choral Society has a rich tradition of singing cantatas and oratorios. What started as a 48 member church choir that wanted to attempt an oratorio has grown to a non-auditioned community chorus that draws singers from all over Northeast Indiana, Western Ohio, and Southern Michigan. The Mennonite Choral Society has an annual tradition of singing Handel’s Messiah in December and presents an oratorio or serious sacred work each May. All of the concerts are presented in the 2,000 seat sanctuary of First Mennonite Church in Berne, IN.

Milwaukee Area Messiah Community Chorus

Brian's professional musical career began in 1979, when he became organist and Choirmaster of St. Adalbert's Church(R.C.) in Schenectady, NY. Since then, he has served four Catholic and two Lutheran congregations in five cities in the US and the UK. While living in the UK, he served as a clinician for Northhampton Diocese in choral conducting and organ improvisation. He holds the Service Playing Certificate from the American Guild of Organists and is currently Director of Music for Grace Lutheran Church in Thiensville, Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Area Messiah Community Chorus and Orchestra (MAMCCO) began in 2009 with a strong vision of spreading God's word to the community through Handel's Messiah. This group has since partnered with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission to raise money to help this local homeless shelter. Presenting Handel's Messiah each year since then, MAMCCO has grown to include 80 chorus members, representing over 40 area churches and has raised over $25,000 for the Rescue Mission.

Georgetown Presbyterian Church Choir Ensemble

Mary Lu Norris, native South Carolinian, received her education at University of South Carolina, Baptist College of Charleston and Clemson University, where she won the Lena Brayton Piano Competition in 1971. Accomplishments include Paderewski Award, National Piano Guild; Founding Director, The Coastal Chorale, 10 years; Founding Director, national Choral Workshop "Singin' in The Sun", Elderhostel International, 20 years; Instructor, "Charles Wesley and His Hymns"; SC Arts Commission Approved Artist Roster and SC Community Tour, musical theater, 10 years; Director of Music Ministries and organist for 7 SC United Methodist and Presbyterian churches; currently serves Georgetown Presbyterian Church, in historic Georgetown SC. Theater credits include "Annie Get Your Gun", "South Pacific", "Fiddler on the Roof" and more; Instructor, Chautauqua on Lake Erie, 7 years, performing two original solo stage productions. She likes to travel with her husband and enjoys spoiling their five grandchildren and Siamese cat. Mary Lu resides in the South Strand of Myrtle Beach, in Murrells Inlet, SC.

The GPC Choir Ensemble from Georgetown Presbyterian Church is an outstanding group of singers who sing in the larger GPC Chancel Choir. This group is made up of dedicated singers, coming together in a typical church choir mixture of both trained, professional voices and persons who just love to sing, love to learn, and love to serve the Lord by sharing their talents! They sing classical and traditional scores, enjoying the occasions when they are accompanied by strings, woodwinds or brass ensembles.

The Doha Singers

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Claire Daniels
Claire’s musical career began while studying Voice and Piano at Newcastle School of Music in the UK. After graduation she pursued a career as an international performer before spending 10 years in Thailand, initially performing, later following her other passion of teaching. Claire arrived in Doha in 2014 and immediately joined the Doha Singers. After 2 years she was appointed Musical Director in September 2016. She is currently Head of Performing Arts at the International School of London Qatar. Claire embraces the inclusivity and diversity of community choirs and feels that everyone should sing to release those positive endorphins!

Founded in 1993, and now more than 100 singers strong, the four-part adult choir sings everything from traditional choir music to show tunes and performs two large concert programmes each year: festive music in the winter and a themed programme in the spring, as well as several informal and private events.

Chesapeake Community Messiah Choir

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June Vinson
June Vinson is not our musical director, but she is the driving force behind the creation of our choir. Growing up in West Virginia, June sang in her high school chorus and all-county chorus. At WVU Tech she continued to sing in various groups, including the traveling concert chorus. They sang The Messiah for the town before Christmas and June has never forgotten the emotional impact it had on her. She wanted to recreate this wonderful spiritual feeling and bring the people of Chesapeake, Virginia together to experience the true meaning of Christmas. June sings in the production each year.

The Chesapeake Community Messiah Production is entirely volunteer, with participants who live, work, or worship in Chesapeake. For our first performance in 2007, we had 185 voices and 25 musicians. Ranging in age from 16 to 88, some members of our choir have participated every year, others come and go. Our orchestra is largely made up of music teachers and students from our schools. Each year we have a guest conductor and begin rehearsals in October. We have been hosted all 12 years at Great Bridge Baptist Church. Our concert is free and open to the public.

Grande Prairie Regional College Concert Choir

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Kristina Alexander-Luna
Kristina Alexander-Luna, mezzo-soprano, has her Masters in Voice Performance from the University of Ottawa, and an Advanced Certificate in Performance from the University of Toronto. She is currently completing her Doctorate at the University of Toronto in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. Kristina has performed with professional choirs and opera companies throughout Canada and the United States, and is sought after as a Soloist, Music Festival Adjudicator, and Clinician. As a teacher of Voice and Choirs, Kristina loves to encourage and instill confidence in her students, as well as give them opportunities to grow as expressive communicators and versatile performers. Kristina is a member of ARMTA (Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), and CAEA (Canadian Actors Equity Association). Currently Instructor of Voice and Choir at Grande Prairie Regional College, Kristina hopes to continue growing as a performer, conductor, and educator.

The Grande Prairie Regional College Concert Choir is an auditioned mixed choir consisting of GPRC students and community members, and is currently directed by Kristina Alexander-Luna. Located in Alberta, Canada, the Fine Arts program at GPRC offers training in Visual Arts, Drama, and Music, and is the most northern Fine Arts program in Western Canada. The choir has participated in the Grande Prairie District Music Festival, performed concerts at events around the city of Grande Prairie, and participated at the 2017 Alberta Choralfest in Edmonton, Alberta. The GPRC Concert Choir does two concerts annually in the fabulous Douglas J. Cardinal Performing Arts Centre located on the GPRC campus. A vital part of the Grande Prairie music and arts community, the Concert Choir seeks to connect college students and community members in a musically enriching environment! We are very excited to be a part of this concert with DCINY!

Hymnus

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Rush H. Wagner
Rush was born in Melbourne, Australia, and developed a love for music at an early age. He gained his Bachelor of Music on his principal instrument, the tuba, at the Victorian College of the Arts, and his Diploma of Education at the University of Melbourne. He moved to the United States of America in 2008, and soon after gained his Masters of Education. Rush began directing the New Prague Area Community band in 2008, and Hymnus in 2011, both based out of New Prague, Minnesota. He loves the music making process, and enjoys helping others along their musical journey.

Co-founded in 2002 by Brian T. Carson, as musical director, and Mary E. Zard, as Administrator, Hymnus is a non-profit, community based choir, in New Prague, Minnesota. Our Mission is to give choristers, boys, girls, teens, and adults, the opportunity to experience the joy and satisfaction of learning, and performing great music of western liturgical tradition. Hymnus has performed throughout Minnesota, in New York, England, and Italy, and is a popular guest of Metro Orchestras. Under the current direction of Rush Wagner, members are taught solid skills involving vocal production and sight singing.

Symphony Choir of Cape Town, South Africa

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Alexander Fokkens
SCCT Music Director Alexander Fokkens studied Double Bass Performance, Conducting, Singing and Advanced Theory and Analysis, at the South African College of Music and then at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. After studying and serving as assistant conductor to German Gutierrez at TCU and holding various positions in the USA, he returned to South Africa in 2005. Since then, he has conducted every major and minor orchestra and opera company in the country. Alex has performed as a Guest Conductor in the USA, Italy, France, the UK and devotes as much of his time as possible to bringing music to the people of South Africa.

The Symphony Choir of Cape Town [SCCT] is a leading choir in Cape Town, offering regular public performances with the objective of inspiring an appreciation of excellence in choral music. Under the Musical Directorship of sought-after conductor Alexander Fokkens, his wife Margaret Foxcroft as accompanist and Assistant Director Levi Alexander, the 70-member choir performs up to 6 concerts per year, frequently providing opportunities for young, up-and-coming musicians to perform. The SCCT also collaborates with other choirs, especially with members of the Philharmonic and Tygerberg Choirs, and more recently the Gentlemen’s Ensemble from Gugulethu.

First Baptist Church Choir

Thomas J Hugghins has been the worship leader at First Baptist Church, Guymon, OK for 27 years. Prior to his ministry at FBC Guymon, he was worship leader at First Baptist Church Gonzales,TX for 8 years, and he was also worship leader at Riverside Baptist church for 2 years.

The First Baptist Church Choir is the leading worship group for Sunday morning services at FBC Guymon. 

Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong

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Celia Leung
Graduated from University of Hong Kong, Celia Leung started conducting in the age of 11. She has worked with singers from all ages. In 2015 and 2016, she founded Sing City (a vocal ensemble) and Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong. Both groups are mostly made up of expats who love to share their passion in singing during their leisure time. The Choirs present performances regularly in the city. Prior to be a music director, Celia was a producer to various music groups.

Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong was founded in 2016. Led by Celia Leung, the choir is named after the many flame trees that are found around the city. Phoenix Singers has performed at various locations in HK, including Sheung Wan Civic Centre, HK Arts Centre and more. The choir rehearses weekly and presents 3 concerts a year.

Duncanville Community Chorus sponsored by First Presbyterian Church Duncanville

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Nyadia Thorpe
Nyadia Thorpe is the Choral Music Director at Howard Junior High in Waxahachie ISD and is active in her community as the Music Director at the First Presbyterian Church Duncanville and conducts the Duncanville Community Chorus. Mrs. Thorpe serves the Region 20 Middle School Vocal Division of the Texas Music Educators Association as the Middle School Vocal Division Coordinator and Chairperson for the middle school choral events. In Waxahachie ISD, Mrs. Thorpe conducts the One Voice District Honor Choir and also teaches Musical Theatre. Mrs. Thorpe serves her campus as the Fine Arts Department Chair and participates on various committees. Mrs. Thorpe began her musical studies as a student in Dallas ISD where she attended Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Her undergraduate studies took place at the University of Texas at Arlington where she studied voice, opera workshop, and traveled to parts of Europe performing with the Chamber Chorus. During the trip to Europe, Mrs. Thorpe sang the Alto solo in the Mozart Requiem. After a few years of working in Dallas ISD, she began her studies for a Masters Degree in Music Education at Southern Methodist University. She worked very closely with her professors and earned several hours in private choral conducting with Dr. Pam Elrod-Huffman. Most recently, Mrs. Thorpe most recently completed her Principal Certification and studies in Educational Leadership. Mrs. Thorpe enjoys working with singers and musicians of all ages. Her choirs earn Sweepstake awards at UIL events and First Division Ratings and awards at contests and festivals each year. In the community, Mrs. Thorpe has founded Inspire Singing, an organization for promoting the fine and performing arts in the community where she lives. Mrs. Thorpe is a member of TMEA and ACDA. She thoroughly enjoys choral conducting, adjudicating, and clinicing choirs. Most of all she loves her family and values the time away from the podium that she is able to spend with her husband and sons.

Duncanville Community Chorus sponsored by First Presbyterian Church Duncanville began in 2015 with their debut concert Community in Unity. The Community in Unity concert brought together the City of Duncanville, the Duncanville High School Choral Department, and several local churches to our central park. DCC is comprised of singers from across the city of Duncanville, Tx and of the various local churches, as well as, singers from the Duncanville High School Choral Department. Our concerts range in variety from traditional Holy Week programs such as the annual Good Friday concert, to Christmastime concerts with the Steve Bayless Orchestra, to community centered events.

Aspen Choral Society

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Paul Dankers
Paul Dankers is the Music Director for Aspen Choral Society and Snowmass Chapel. He received his undergraduate degree from UW-Eau Claire and Masters Degree from USM. He enjoys acting and directing various theatre productions throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and is currently a Henry Judge for the Colorado Theatre Guild. Paul is an occasional composer and arranger for his various ensembles. He loves mountain living in Basalt, CO with his husband of 7+ years, Michael Schoepe. It is a privilege to be in NY making music with so many talented musicians!

Aspen Choral Society is the combined talent of 100+ people of many ages, ability levels, and professions from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. We are a non auditioned group that works hard to present high quality concerts - especially our signature annual "Messiah" performances in December. After 40 years, there is a definite “family” feel to what we do. More importantly, we nourish and give the gift of beautiful music to our friends and neighbors. You can find us on Facebook, YouTube, and our website, aspenchoralsociety.org.

Calvary Festival Choir

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Brian Burns
Brian Burns began playing the Hammond organ in church at the age of 12. While attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a piano major, he was introduced to the pipe organ and changed his major to organ performance under the direction of the late Dr. Carol Teti. He was one of the first recipients of the Carol Teti Memorial Scholarship. His undergraduate work was completed with Dr. Christine Clewell in 2001. Brian is currently the Music Director at Calvary United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. He directs the Renewal Choir, the Festival Choir, and plays for all of Calvary's services.

The Festival Choir was formed in 2011 specifically to bring an annual presentation of the Messiah to the Northside in Pittsburgh, PA. The core of the choir is made up of Calvary's Renewal Choir and also consists of professional and amateur members from many denominations. The group continues to grow larger with each passing year. The choir may also be found assisting during such times as Advent and Lent.

Chancel Choir of Laguna Presbyterian Church

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Linda M. White
Linda White has been the Director of Choral, Handbell and Children's Music at Laguna Presbyterian Church for 12 years. In addition, she regularly produces, directs, performs, arranges and teaches at multiple schools, churches, orchestras, and music studios in Southern California.

The Chancel Choir sings for weekly worship services, as well as many special services and concerts during the year, at Laguna Presbyterian Church, which recently celebrated its 100th year of ministry in Laguna Beach, California. A multi-generational group composed mainly of volunteer singers with diverse backgrounds and experience, this group exemplifies a heart for God, a love of singing, and care for one another. They make a joyful noise for the Lord!

East Hants Choral Society

Martha Healy is a retired music educator, having taught P-6 music and directed school choirs for 34 years. In 2014, she was the recipient of the Nova Scotia Music Educators' Association Lifetime Achievement Award and her school community created the Martha Healy Award in her honour. After her retirement, she started the East Hants Choral Society in 2015. As well as directing EHCS, she is also the Minister of Music at Riverview United Church, Elmsdale, sings with the Walter Kemp Singers and is the director of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Children's Choir. Martha is also on the Board of Directors for the Helen Creighton Folklore Society and the Federation of Music Festivals of Nova Scotia and is the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival.

The East Hants Choral Society (originally known as the East Hants Community Chorale) was started in the fall of 2015 by Martha Healy. The goal of EHCS is to provide the opportunity to gather together and share the joy and connections that come with community singing. It is a non-auditioned choir open to singers of all ages and abilities: our youngest member is 14 and our oldest is 88. We continue to grow in size, from 52 in 2015 to over 90 at present and we love to sing. We perform two major community concerts annually, sing at smaller local events in our villages, and are thrilled to come to New York City to experience community singing on a grand scale!

Brentwood Community Chorus

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Susan Stuart
Susan holds a B.A. in Piano Performance. She retired in 2011 after 35 years as the Liberty High School Choral Director in Brentwood, California. She has served on the California Music Educators Association Board as Choral Representative and been a guest conductor for middle and high school honor choirs. Susan has been the recipient of numerous state and community awards. A member of several musical ensembles, Susan has performed at the Rome International Choral Festival (2012) and the Mozart Choral Festival (Salzburg 2015). Susan re-established the Brentwood Community Chorus in 2010 to keep “Messiah” going. She loves working with adults!

The Brentwood Community Chorus was established in the 1980's initially to perform "Messiah" and bring choral music to the community. After many years' hiatus, the Chorus was re-established, again, to sing "Messiah". We are composed of singers of all ages and we now perform all genres of music, presenting "Messiah" every other year. This past season we performed with 70 on the risers. It is our belief that singing promotes good health, unity, compassion and love. We are honored to be included in this 10th Anniversary of "Messiah...Refreshed!"

Baha'i Choral Festival Choir

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Van Gilmer
Van Gilmer, soloist, composer, is the director of the Bahá’í House of Worship for the North American Continent, located in Wilmette, Illinois. He is also the first director of The Baha’i Gospel Choir that produced its first CD entitled: The Bahá’í Gospel Choir LIVE in Luxembourg in 2004. Van, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, graduated from NC Agricultural & Technical State University. He has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Ethiopia and the Caribbean appearing twice at Carnegie Hall. Van has been a Bahá’í for over 53 years. The first appearance of a Baha’i Choir in The Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, for the International Conference of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is a recipient of the Independent Music Award’s “Best Gospel Song” for 2005 and a member of the American Society of Choral Directors.

The Baha'i House of Worship Choir is joined each year by nearly one hundred singers from around the world to hold two Baha'i Choral Festival Devotional Concerts in the Baha'i House of Worship for the North American Continent. These concerts traditionally present sacred a cappella music from classical to gospel for nearly 2,000 attendees each year. This year, Handel's All We Like Sheep and And the Glory of the Lord were two of the eleven pieces included in the concerts. The choir's membership is multi-racial, ethnic, and ages and operates on the principle of inclusion and encouragement for all lovers of music which feeds the hearts and souls of all humankind.