Rare Performance of Handel’s Messiah Parts 2 & 3
Rare Performance of Handel’s Messiah Parts 2 & 3 – Crucifixion and Resurrection – by Outstanding Chorale with Orchestra
By: Rev. Jim Reddick
The Lake Wales Chorale and Music Remembrance Chamber Orchestra will be joining together to celebrate the 2018 Easter Season at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lake Wales on Sunday, April 8th at 6:00 PM. Concert goers will be treated to a rare performance of George Frederick Handel’s sacred masterwork Messiah, Parts 2 & 3 -- Crucifixion and Resurrection. The Chorale boasts 60 well instructed and rehearsed voices and, in conjunction with the 14 piece professional chamber orchestra, the concert promises an exciting evening and soul-stirring experience.
The Lake Wales Chorale has been a cultural icon in Lake Wales since its inception in 1972, founded by local attorney Michael Crews. Over the years, the Chorale has traveled and entertained international audiences. Bok Tower Garden’s Carillonneur for thirty-four years, Mr. Milford Myhre, simultaneously dedicated 30 of those years as the Chorale’s first musical director, thus establishing a solid, quality foundation. He now sings with and is the Chorale’s oldest member. Succeeding Myhre with a passion for excellence was Dr. Gabriel Statom, Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales. He dedicated his time to three entities, the Church, the Chorale, and the Bach Festival of Central Florida. Upon Statom’s departure, Mr. Robert Wilson, Choirmaster of Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Wales, and Dr. Virginia Davidson, renowned conductor in New York, provided strong yet short tenured leadership. Special situations within the last few years have required the greatly appreciated assistance and musical expertise of Rev. Charles Little, Minister of Worship Arts at First Baptist Church of Lake Wales and Rev. Dana Hofstrom, Director of Choral Music at Warner University.
Mr. Vince Treadway, who now serves as the Director of Music for the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales, was appointed Musical Director of the Lake Wales Chorale in September 2014 and presently serves with distinction in that capacity. Vince holds a Master’s degree in Church Music and a Master’s degree in Organ Performance from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. He founded the Alliance of Christian Musicians in 2001 and taught organ at Cairn University in Philadelphia, NJ. He composes and arranges, and teaches piano, organ, and voice privately. Mr. Treadway performs in the United States and abroad, and has been guest conductor for the Bach Festival of Central Florida.
Terri Hofstrom is the Accompanist. The Chorale is extremely pleased to have Terri’s experience and expertise. She has been an accompanist for over 40 years for various church and school groups, and a member of the Lake Wales Chorale since 2012. When not serving as accompanist, Terri sings alto in the chorus. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Anderson University (Indiana) in Music Theory and Composition where she studied under Dr. Larry Stafford. She also accompanies the Warner University Choir where her husband, Dana, is the conductor.
The selected soloists for this performance are members of the Lake Wales Chorale. All of these soloists possess voice training and have performed as principal soloists in a large variety of venues over the years. Included in this article are most of the soloists’ biographical sketches and photos. All were not available at press time.
Diane Armington, mezzo-soprano, grew up in a musical family where harmonizing with one another was enjoyed. Diane’s experience began as a young child in the church and continues to this day at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Wales. Her solo work was generated from the beginning. She studied voice briefly at Muskingum College in Ohio before turning to Comparative Literature. Diane theorizes that the message and spirit of a musical piece is the most important aspect of a solo. Armington has performed with Bach Festival of Central Florida for the last decade and other various groups.
Robert Wilson, tenor, is Organist and Choirmaster for the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Wales. He earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Florida while serving as a graduate assistant to the choral department. While at UF, Robert was an accompanist for the University Chorale and the UF opera workshop production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica. He has performed in productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Copland’s The Tender Land, Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and concert performances of Handel Oratorios and Bach Cantatas. Mr. Wilson has sung with the Atlanta Singers and Robert Shaw Chorale.
Liz Barker, soprano, has always loved singing. She has been active in choral groups starting with chorus in elementary, junior and high school. In high school she was selected to be part of three ensembles and competed in solo competition at the county and state levels. Christian music has always been her passion. At 15 years old, Liz was asked to join the adult choir at her home church and was often a soloist during services. She went on to college at Warner Southern and was a part of the Collegiate Chorale and Young American traveling groups. After graduating with a degree in Music Education and Elementary Education with a minor in Church ministry, she taught music at Janie Howard Wilson Elementary for 7 years. After that time, Liz performed solo concerts at churches and other venues locally and in several states singing a mix of hymns, contemporary Christian and original songs. She also recorded 3 CD albums. At present, she is deeply involved in the worship team at Awaken Church. Mrs. Barker will be presenting her first Lake Wales Chorale solo performance tonight.
Rev. Mackay Smith, baritone, is the newly installed Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales. He is a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, and has been singing as long as he can remember! He began studying voice as a teenager, and minored in Music (Vocal Performance) at Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. While in school he performed in multiple vocal ensembles, worship teams, and musical theater productions. After college, he pursued his theological education at Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, PA, and Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has performed with the Greenville Chorale (Greenville, SC), Singing City (Philadelphia, PA), and Charlotte Symphony Chorus (Charlotte, NC).
Margaret A. Hepworth, soprano, is a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where she received her fine arts degree in vocal operatic performance. She continued her vocal studies in Cincinnati and New York City and worked as an operatic soprano as well as concert soloist in the greater New York City area until moving to Florida in 2005. Maggie has served as the Music Director and a board member of The Richmond Theatre Collection in Staten Island, NY; Music Director and conductor of the 125 Broad Street Singers, and Music Director and conductor for the Marsh Co. chorus, both in New York City. She has also worked as a vocal teacher/coach, classroom music teacher, and enjoys choral arranging. Maggie is a founding member and vocal performer with The Classical Musicians of Solivita. She performs with both the Solivita Guys and Dolls and the Starliters in Poinciana, Florida. She is the vice-president of the Solivita Performing Arts Council, Inc. and chairman of the SPAC, Inc. Endowment Fund.
Rev. Jim Reddick, bass-baritone, having served in churches in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, now serves as an Interim & Supply Minister (all ecclesiastical duties including soloist, choir and congregational music) throughout Polk County. Jim attended Oxford College and Emory College, both of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia while earning an Associate of Arts from Oxford College and a Bachelor of Arts double major in Psychology and Music from Emory College. His music degree concentrations were vocal performance and conducting. He was a soloist with the Oxford College Chorus. While studying at Emory College, he sang bass in the Barbershop Quartet, was a student conductor and soloist with the Men’s Glee Club, and studied voice with Jean Lemmonds plus four additional vocal coaches. Jim then attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana earning a Master of Divinity double concentration in Pastoral Ministries and Theological Studies. While there, he was a featured soloist with the Seminary Men’s Chorus. Rev. Reddick is treasurer and choral member of Bach Festival of Central Florida, and Steering Committee and choral member of Lake Wales Chorale, having been a featured soloist in the recent past.
Carolyn Welling-Faiks, mezzo-soprano, has held church music positions as soloist or music director in Virginia, Maryland, and Colorado and taught private music instruction to students for over 30 years. Carolyn is currently part-time Director of Music and Organist for the Babson Park Community Church. She studied music at Florida State University, George Mason University in Virginia, and later received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. Carolyn has performed with numerous choral and oratorio societies in Denver and Washington, D.C. including six seasons with the Colorado Symphony Chorus, and was also active in Opera Theater in Washington. Solo performances have included the Brahms Rhapsody with men’s chorus, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Christmas Carols, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, and Mozart's Requiem.
Marion Davis, tenor, has pursued his passion for music and singing throughout his life. He has performed in the choruses of numerous, well-known Florida organizations such as Pensacola Oratorio Society, Tallahassee Community Chorus, Winter Park Bach Festival, Messiah Association (Winter Haven), Bach Festival of Central Florida, and has enjoyed a dedicated 30 year membership with the Lakeland Choral Society. During these years, Marion has sung Handel’s Messiah on many occasions and under the direction of conductors such as Moody Chisholm, Virginia Davidson, John Anderson, Bob Custer, Gabriel Statom, Bob Branson, and Larry Sledge. Marion is thrilled with the Chorale’s impressive vocal quality and extremely pleased to be a member. Tonight Mr. Davis offers his first solo performance in conclusion of his second season with the Lake Wales Chorale.
Tickets for the Lake Wales Chorale “Handel’s Messiah Parts 2 & 3 – Crucifixion and Resurrection” Spring Concert are priced at $5.00 for Students with I.D. and $15.00 for Adults. Tickets are available from Chorale members, on the Lake Wales Arts Council website, www.lakewalesartscouncil.org, and from the Arts Council office. Lake Wales Arts Center is located at 1098 State Road 60 East (NW corner of 11th St and SR 60). You can call 863-676-8426 to use credit/debit cards, or go personally and pay by cash, check, or credit/debit card. If you buy tickets via the website or phone, they will be waiting for you at the concert venue door. This rare performance of Handel’s Messiah is expected to sell out. Please purchase your tickets early.
The performance of Handel’s Messiah begins at 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 8th. The concert venue, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, is located at 644 South 9th Street in Lake Wales; 2 blocks South off S.R. 60. You will not want to miss this memorable evening of Handel’s sacred music masterpiece.