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Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall


Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
George Frideric Handel: Messiah
Thomas Beecham/Eugene Goossens' 1959 Re-Orchestration for full symphony orchestra

Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International

Also Featuring:

Penelope Shumate, Soprano

Claudia Chapa, Mezzo-Soprano

John McVeigh, Tenor

Christopher Job, Baritone

Participating Groups

Oak Harbor High School Choir

Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong

Ensemble Jean-Philippe Rameau

North Valley Chorale

Coro Promúsica México

Grand Forks Choral Society

Lakeland Community Choir

Ferndale Community Choir

American International School Vienna- High School Choir

Central Regional High School Chorale

Cary Community Choir

Calgary Zhi-Yin Choir

New York Festival Singers

Voices In Praise

Greensboro Chamber Choir

Special Guests


Artist's Name

Jonathan Griffith

Artist's Name

Penelope Shumate

Artist's Name

Claudia Chapa

Artist's Name

John McVeigh

Artist's Name

Christopher Job

Participating Group Directors

Oak Harbor High School Choir
Russell R. Exlos-Raber
Mr. Exlos-Raber has directed the various Oak Harbor Middle and High School Choirs for the last 21 years. He has served as the HS Repertoire & Standards Committee Chairman for the Ohio Choral Director's Association (ACDA) and is active as a clinician and adjudicator for the Ohio Music Education Association (NAMFE) and the Educational Programs Network's Music in the Parks festival series. Mr. Exlos-Raber and his husband Mark live in Fremont, Ohio and enjoy various activities throughout the Lake Erie Islands area.

The Oak Harbor High School choirs have received consistent Superior and Excellent ratings at both local and state adjudicated events in the highest classifications. The Oak Harbor Choirs have performed under such noted batons as John Rutter, Ronnie Oliver, and Adawagin Pratt and routinely perform with collegiate and professional choral and instrumental ensembles. The OHHS choir members are excited to return to the Carnegie Hall stage once again.

Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong
Celia Leung
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Leung obtained her music degree from University of Hong Kong. Before taking up the job as musical director, she has been an arts administrator for 12 years in festivals, theatre and choir companies. She was the project manager to World Youth Choir during Summer 2008, while the group performed in China, Macau and Hong Kong. As a conductor since she was 12, Leung has worked with choirs from ages 5 to 70. In 2015 and 2016, she set up 2 singing groups in Hong Kong, namely Sing City and Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong.

Phoenix, is referring to the many Flame Trees that are found in HK, blooming in May around the city. Flame Trees are known as “Phoenix Trees” in Chinese. Phoenix Singers, Hong Kong was founded in 2016, musically directed by Celia Leung. The chorus (mixed) meets once a week and share the joy of singing. Since its inception, the chorus presented several performances around the city at different locations, singing mainly pop, jazz and contemporary choral pieces. We are very excited to take part in this year's Messiah concert again.

Ensemble Jean-Philippe Rameau
Malgorzata Digaud-Baluszynska
Dr. Digaud-Baluszynska graduated from the Krakow Academy of Music in Poland, where she studied music theory, choral and orchestral conducting, and music education. Her productions and innovations in choral singing have on multiple occasions won first prize from Poland’s Ministry of National Education. She has taught music education at the Institute of Education Science in Krakow, choir and chamber orchestra conducting at the Krakow Academy of Music, and choral conducting and education at the University of Strasbourg. She now directs several choirs in Switzerland and France, including the Ensemble Jean-Philippe Rameau, and teaches music at Genolier High School (EPSGE) in Switzerland.

Ensemble Jean-Philippe Rameau (France) The Ensemble Jean-Philippe Rameau, founded in 2011 by Malgorzata and Eric Digaud, performs a range of classical works with a focus on French music. Based in Pays de Gex, France, it is named after the great baroque composer, musical theorist and philosopher. The choir’s repertoire ranges from Gregorian chants to contemporary music: Allegri’s Misere, Delalande’s De profundis, excerpts from operas by Rameau and Lully, pieces by Mielczewski, Capillas and Purcell, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rossini’s Little Solemn Mass, Mozart’s Te Deum, and Karl Jenkins’ Requiem, Stabat Mater and The Bards of Wales, Rachmaninov, 9th Symphony of Beethoven, … This ensemble of 70 French and Swiss singers performs regularly in France and Switzerland but also preformed abroad (Italy, China, Russia, Hungary,USA).

North Valley Chorale
Eleanor Johnson
Eleanor Johnson, the founding director of the North Valley Chorale (NVC), has enriched Arizona with music for over 25 years. Under her inspiring leadership, the NVC has grown from 12 singers of sacred music in 2008 to nearly 60 singers with a repertoire including Broadway, pop, classical and patriotic music. Mrs. Johnson recently led the NVC on its first international tour and to Kennedy Center in Washington, DC for the National Memorial Day Choral Festival. When she is not teaching music or directing, Eleanor enjoys hiking, gardening, crossword puzzles and travelling.

The North Valley Chorale (NVC) is from Phoenix, Arizona. Established in 2008, the Chorale’s repertoire ranges from classical to pop, patriotic to Broadway. The choir performs 3 main concerts per year, sings for local outreach events and tours annually. Known as “the choir that cares”, NVC works with organizations across Phoenix to share their gifts of music, companionship, and goods with the needy, sick, and homeless. Last summer (2016) was NVC’s first international tour, covering Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Previously they performed at the Kennedy Center in DC for the National Memorial Day Choral Festival and Parade.

Coro Promúsica México
Samuel Pascoe Aguilar
Dr. Samuel Pascoe graduated as a pianist from the National Autonomous University in Mexico City. He holds a Master’s degree in choral conducting and composition from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, and a Doctorate in Musical Arts from Boston University. He has been the musical director of the Madrigal Singers of Bellas Artes, the National Music School Symphony Orchestra, Academia Orchestra in Mexico City, All Campus Orchestra in Boston University, and Promúsica Choir, among others. He is also a frequent guest conductor of renowned orchestras and ensembles in Mexico.

Promúsica Mexico Choir integrates polyphonic singing enthusiasts, following the European amateur choir tradition. The Choir’s motto “We sing for the joy of singing” summarizes its philosophy. In over thirty years, Promúsica has performed under outstanding batons and orchestras, and has always taken pride in its contribution to the development and diffusion of musical culture in Mexico, not only through its frequent performances in well-known cultural halls in the city, but also by sponsoring talented young Mexican musicians who perform as soloists in presentations, and a choir of primary school age children in Texcoco, Mexico. Promúsica sponsors a choir of primary school age children in Texcoco, Mexico, an area where Náhuatl, one of México´s most important indigenous languages, used to be spoken. The objectives of the project are twofold: to perpetuate the musical tradition of the community, and to promote learning and thus preservation of Náhuatl by bringing children closer to it precisely through music. This year the choir PIPILTONKUIKAPIHEKEH, Náhuatl for "Bilingual Choir of Children", made their official debut in their city, and in the National Museum of History in Mexico City.

Grand Forks Choral Society