The 75th anniversary year performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, which has become a winter season tradition at Ursinus College, will be held Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 2:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium. The piece will be sung by the College Choir and Meistersingers, and conducted by Professor John French, holder of the Heefner Chair of Music. Soloists are Leslie Johnson, soprano; Robert O’Neil, countertenor; Kenneth Garner, tenor; and Reginald Pindell, bass.
Online registration is available at www.ursinus.edu/messiah. Tickets are $10 each online and at the door for the general public.
For online registration, there is the option of paying by check or credit card. Checks can be made payable to Ursinus College, and sent to Music Department, Ursinus College, Box 1000, Collegeville, PA 19426-1000. Tickets will be mailed (if time allows) or held at the door. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door. For mail orders please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for tickets.
Last year Dr. French conducted his 50th performance of the Handel oratorio at Ursinus. Dr. French, a member of the college faculty since 1979, has received the Laughlin Professional Achievement Award and Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in recognition of his professional and scholarly accomplishments. Dr. French is the associate conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Active as a church musician for 40 years, he has been the organist-choirmaster for the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia since 1992.
Dr. French has degrees from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, Westminster Choir College and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. In addition to other grants and awards, he has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. French is immediate past President of the Board of Directors of the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and currently serves as President of the Society’s Foundation. He is past President of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.