The Graceland University Choirs and Orchestra will perform Georg Friedrich Händel’s Messiah, Friday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Shaw Family Auditorium on the Lamoni Campus. The concert is ninety minutes long and has one intermission. Admission is free.
Jack Ergo, Associate Professor of Music, Piano/Harpsichord and Orchestral Studies, will conduct the performance. Ergo will be joined by Dr. Leonardo C. Lebas, for this sacred oratorio.
Professor Ergo has led many Messiah performances over the years; most notably with the Independence (Missouri) Messiah Choir from 1980 – 2000. During this time, Ergo and the Messiah Choir had a twelve year run with PBS Television, toured England, Wales, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, and gave a sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall.
Soloists for the concert include Graceland students and alumni Anna Rider, Soprano; Jessica Dotson, Alto; Martin Mercer, Tenor; and Jeff Benson, Bass. The orchestra will feature students and visiting professionals, most notably Kevin Hart, a sophomore, performing on Graceland’s double manual harpsichord; Jolia Poltorak, art teacher at South Harrison High, playing her 1765 Doering Baroque cello; and Dr. Phil Schaefer, a music faculty member at William Jewell College, as trumpet soloist.
Handel’s Messiah is perhaps the world’s most beloved choral work and is performed thousands of times each year by professional and amateur choral societies. Graceland performs it once every four years to give students the opportunity to learn this important piece of Western music.