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Handel's "Messiah" sold out for Dec. 9 performance
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The State University of New York at Fredonia will present a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall. 

This special School of Music event is organized and directed by Assistant Professor of Music Gerald Gray and will include vocal performances by the Fredonia College Choir, Janet Brown (soprano), Quinn Patrick (mezzo soprano), Joe Dan Harper (tenor) and Daniel Ihasz (baritone).  Musicians for the evening will include concertmaster and former SUNY Fredonia music instructor Neil Dufallo and members of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. 

Tickets to Handel’s “Messiah” are $12 for the general public and $10 for students and can be purchased at the Central Ticket Office, located in the Williams Center at the heart of the SUNY Fredonia campus, or by calling (716) 673-3501.  Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the performance for $15.

The upcoming SUNY Fredonia presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” is a sort of holiday gift to the people of Western New York – the concert is believed to be the lone seasonal performance of the complete work in Western New York this year.  Composed by George Frederic Handel in 1741, “Messiah,” with its musical narrative of the coming of Christian salvation, is a time-honored Christmas tradition in countries throughout the world.  

"‘Messiah’ is a work that is beloved by many people,” said Dr. Gray.  “So many people have memories of singing, playing or hearing ‘Messiah.’  I want to let those people reconnect with those memories, and I wish for many others to create new memories with our performance.”

The backbone of the performance will be provided by the 40-member Fredonia College Choir, a select, touring ensemble that studies and performs major choral works in addition to standard sacred and secular music.  

 “They love (‘Messiah’), and I don't say that lightly,” Dr. Gray said.  “The members of the College Choir have immersed themselves in the work and rigorously rehearsed all of the choruses.  There are some very fine young professional voices in our choir right now making for full, mature and exciting singing.  Also, the singing is stylistically sensitive because the singers care so deeply.” 

 Vocal guests for “Messiah” will include Ms. Brown, a soprano and Baroque music specialist whom Dr. Gray believes “will bring a deep understanding and gorgeous voice to this music;” SUNY Fredonia School of Music voice faculty members Quinn Patrick, a mezzo soprano well-known to Western New York audiences; Joe Dan Harper, whom Dr. Gray noted “brings beauty and expressiveness to everything he sings;” and Daniel Ihasz, a talented baritone who has performed with ensembles throughout the nation. 

The instrumental music of “Messiah” will be performed by members of the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, a professional ensemble-in-residence at SUNY Fredonia.  Serving as concertmaster will be Cornelius Dufallo, a former SUNY Fredonia faculty member who has been heard on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and has been praised for his mastery of the violin in genres ranging from classical to experimental jazz.

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State University of New York at Fredonia