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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 56th Season

 

Sunday, December 4th, 1994
Cordier Auditorium
Robert Jones, Conductor

  Messiah George Frideric Handel  
  Manchester College Choral Society
Bradley Creswell, conductor

Carol Streator, soprano
Mary Creswell, mezzo-soprano
Bradley Creswell, tenor
Ross Bernhardt, baritone

PART ONE
 
 

Sinfony
Comfort ye
- tenor recitative
Ev'ry valley
- tenor aria
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
- Chorus
Thus saith the Lord
- bass recitative
But who may abide the day of His coming
- alto aria
And he shall purify
- Chorus
Behold, a virgin shall conceive
- alto recitative
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
- alto aria and Chorus
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
- bass recitative
The people that walked in the darkness
- bass aria
For unto us a Child is born
- Chorus
Pifa ("Pastoral Symphony")
- Orchestra
There were shepherds abiding in the field
- soprano recitative
And the angel said unto them
- soprano recitative
And suddenly there was with the angel
- soprano recitative
Glory to God
- Chorus
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
- soprano aria
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened
- alto aria
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd
- alto and soprano aria
His yoke is eash
- Chorus

 
       
  Intermission  
       
  PART TWO  
 

Behold the Lamb of God - Chorus
Surely He hath borne our griefs
- Chorus
All we like sheep have gone astray
- Chorus
Why do the nations so furiously rage
- bass aria
But thanks to God
- Chorus
Hallelujah
- Chorus

 
       
  PART THREE  
 

I know that my Redeemer liveth - soprano aria
Then shall be brought to pass
- alto recitative
O deah, where is thy sting
- alto and tenor duet
But thanks to God
- Chorus
Worthy is the Lamb
- Chorus

 
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  Messiah George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)
 
 

George (or Georg) Frideric Handel (or Händel), that German-born British subject who wrote Italian music, was a bundle of contradictions. The varied spelling of his name reflects the mobility of artists and composers common to that period. Names were often spelled according to the practice of the country of residence. He spelled his name "Handel" on his petition for citizenship.

Handel had a complex personality. On the one hand, he was pious and sentimental to the point of crying over his own music when it dealt with the sufferings of the Lord. On the other hand, he had an uncontrollable temper that prompted associates to play practical jokes on him, sometimes resulting in violence. (A prankster once untuned all the instruments just before a concert for the Prince of Wales and Handel was so enraged that he picked up a kettledrum and threw it at the concertmaster. He was persuaded to continue the concert only after the Prince made a personal plea.)

Perhaps his personality was shaped by his difficulty in pursuing his musical interest. His father insisted that he become a lawyer, and banned all musical instruments from the house. He further forbade young George to visit any other house containing a musical instrument. George managed to smuggle a clavichord (a very quiet keyboard instrument) into an upstairs room without his father's knowledge.

Handel was an almost exact contemporary of J.S. Bach, born in the same year and dying nine years later. They had similar backgrounds, came from the same part of Germany, were both devout Protestants, but were temperamentally quite different. While Bach remained steadfastly middle class and spent his meager earnings on raising a large family, Handel was a cosmopolitan who traveled widely, made and lost fortunes, and mingled with the aristocracy and the intellectual elite.

He was overwhelmed by Italy, where he spent much time. His Italianate operas were very successful, and brought him great fame in England soon after he arrived there. In the span of less than forty years, he wrote forty-six operas, all in Italian style. When the public's interest in Italian opera began to wane, Handel began to work more in the oratorio form. His "second career" made him even more famous, and today he is known mostly for his oratorios, of which his Messiah is the most performed.

He wrote the Messiah in 1741 while in a fit of despair over the failure of two of his operas. He confined himself to his room where he wrote, almost in a frenzy, for little over three weeks to produce his most enduring work, which was an instant success. Musicologist Dr. Hugo Leichentritt says:

"Messiah is one of those mysterious marvels of great art that appear but once in a century, one of those outstanding products of genius which appeals to all lovers of music, to modest amateurs, and even to illiterate persons, as well as to severe critics of art, musicians of all styles, all epochs, and to all nations alike, irrespective of all the differences of artistic creed which in other respects may separate them."

Although we do not hear the work in its entirety, there are not many cuts and those are from parts II and III.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin
Linda U. Kanzawa, Concertmaster
Rosemary Manifold *
Matt Baker +^
Stephanie Beery +^
Matthew N. Hendryx
Rod Morrison
Sandra Neel

Viola
Naida MacDermid *

Cello
Jim Eaton *
Polly Hoover +^
C.D. Stevens +^

Bass
Randy Gratz *
Oboe
Rita Kimberley *
George Donner

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *
Donna Russell

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Scott D. Steenburg +^

Timpani
Mark Sternberg +

Harpsichord
Robin Gratz


* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MC student
^ Denotes MSS Scholarship recipient
       
 

Manchester Choral Society

 
  Bradley Creswell, conductor  
  Soprano
Christine Beery
Sara Beery
Lani Christiansen
Jenni Double
Jessica Eller
Kari Garber
Rachael George
Cari Gilbert
Larisa Hoke
Megan Joseph
Debra Kibbe
Tricia Markley
Wanda Miller
Jennifer Moore
Taryn Nicodemus
Christy Petroff
Michele Shrider
Bethany Thurner
Jane Wilmert
Kathleen Wolf

Tenor
Troy Brown
William DeWitt
Onita Johnson
Ben Kambs
Howard C. McKee
Aaron Richardson

Rehearsal Accompanist
Jane Willmert
Alto
Carmen Beery
Kelly Boggs
Carolyn Bollinger
Jennifer Bowman
Julie Brown
Joyce Clark
Carla Croy
Bethany DeKay
Melissa Donaldson
Karen Eberly
Daren Hand
Michele Hartogh
Karin Heckman
Edith Hoffer
Kathy Kamphoefner
Beth Lewis
Lisa Mathias
Staci Miller
Wendy Noffsinger
Leanne Strader
Katherine Tinsley
Lisa Wenger

Bass
Eric Barkey
Kevin Bryant
Dwight Farringer
Chris Fitze
Tim Frank
Gabe Garrison
Francis Hoffer
Mark Sternberg
       
 
Carol Murphy StreatorCarol Murphy Streator, soprano, holds a masters degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Metropolitan opera star, Anna Kaskas. Her concert experience has included opera, oratorio and chamber music, and recitals in both New York state and Indiana.

Mrs. Streator is teaching part time at Grace College, Winona Lake, and maintains a private studio for voice. Sundays find her directing Ecclesia Choir and Youth Choir at the Manchester Church of the Brethren, and she recently founded a small mixed choral group.

She has served many years as a district and state contest judge and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and American Choral Directors Association.

Carol is the wife of Dr. James T. Streator of Manchester College and they have two sons, Eric and Randy.
Mary CreswellMary Creswell, mezzo-soprano, is an active performer in opera, oratorio, and as a song recitalist. She is an enthusiastic teacher of voice who has served on the voice factulties of Western Michigan University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Grand Valley State University, and Albion College. Most recently Mrs. Creswell joined the music faculty of Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, and has spent the past eight summers teaching voice and performing at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.

Operatic roles performed by Mrs. Creswell include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Elizabeth Proctor in Robert Ward's The Crucible. Her oratorio repertoire includes the Verdi Requiem, Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Magnificat by Bach, Elijah by Mendelssohn, and Vivaldi's Gloria.

Mrs. Creswell received a masters degree from the University of Michigan where she was a recipient of the Elisabeth Schwartzkopf-Walter Legge scholarship in voice performance.
Bradley CreswellBradley Creswell, tenor, is currently serving on the faculty at Manchester College as Director of Choirs. He is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting at Michigan State University.

He has served on the music faculties at Illinois Wesleyan University, Albion College, and Muskegon Community College. Opera and musical theater roles that he has performed include Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Duke/Padre in Man of La Mancha, and the male lead in Side by Side by Sondheim.

He has also performed leading roles with the Lyric Opera of Northern Michigan, springfield Opera, the Kalamazoo Symphony, the West Shore Symphony, Indiana Opera North, the Red Barn Theater of Saugatuck, the University of Michigan Opera Theater, and the Wester Michigan University Opera Theater.

Mr. Creswell also serves as music director and conductor for the music theater program at the Interlochen Arts Camp. He holds degrees in vocal performance from Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan.
Ross BernhardtRoss Bernhardt, baritone, is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at Michigan State University. He also conducts the Lansing Community College concert Choir and is director of music for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.

During the summer months, Mr. Bernhardt is assistant conductor and bass section leader for the Desert Chorale, a professional choral ensemble based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He previously served as director of music activities at Columbia College in Missouri; under his direction, the Jane Froman Singers performed by invitation for the Missouri Music Educations Association and the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).