Participating Group Directors
Mr. Kavanaugh is a native of Payson, UT. He currently serves as the Director of Choirs at Spanish Fork High School. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education from BYU-Idaho and his Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from BYU where he studied with Dr. Andrew Crane and Rosalind Hall. As a member of BYU Singers, he performed with such groups as the King’s Singers and Tenebrae. In 2017, he founded “Sound of Ages”, a professional level chamber choir specializing in Early Music. As a composer, Mr. Kavanaugh was a finalist in the annual Raymond W. Brock Student Competition hosted by the ACDA. He continues to receive commissions from local choirs and collegiate ensembles.
The NEBO HOLIDAY CHORUS & ORCHESTRA (NHCO) was established by residents of Spanish Fork, Utah in June 2017. NHCO promotes the performing arts, provides quality performances of large choral works for free to the community in Southern Utah County, and exercises and improves the artistic skills of those performing in the choir and orchestra. During their annual Christmas concerts, approximately 300 volunteer musicians perform together to bring Handel's Messiah to the local communities. Performers include auditioned hobby musicians, high school students, and independent professional musicians from local communities, public schools and area universities.
Mr. Seese is in his 11th year as director of the NFHS Choirs and his 24th year as a music educator. Mr. Seese has directed middle & high school choral programs in Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and Georgia. Choirs under his direction have consistently received Superior ratings at local, regional and national competitions. His choirs have performed at the Georgia Music Educator’s Association In Service Conference. Mr. Seese has also had the privilege of directing several honor choirs throughout Georgia. In addition to his duties as NFHS Choral Director, Mr. Seese is the Director of Music for Grace Presbyterian Church in Dawsonville and serves as Choral Chair for GMEA District 9. He would like to thank his wife and daughter for their love and support!
The North Forsyth High School Raider Chorus is comprised of 150 singers in four main ensembles: Our women's choirs Bella Voce & Cantamus, the Raider Men and our top ensemble, the Chamber Singers. We also offer several extra curricular choirs. The Raider Chorus consistently earn top honors at local, regional and national competitions and are in demand to perform at events throughout the southeast. North Forsyth High School has an enrollment 2700 students and is located about an hour north of Atlanta at the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia.
Jonath Backia Seelan Baskaran is best known for his peppy and stirring harmony works for the revival of traditional Tamil Christian songs. Under his baton, the choir has performed Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus, Coronation Anthems, Haydn's Creation & Mass in C Minor, cantatas and Contemporary & modern choral works. Apart from conduction, he works to bring together orchestral and choral groups to perform together. He is an accomplished Pianist, serving as church organist for 20 years at St. Thomas church, Srivilliputtur and is currently an Associate of Trinity College London in singing. He is also a music educator.
Founded in 2005, Singspirations, a 75-mixed voice choir, is one of the largest open access western classical choirs in India. The choir is renowned for its energy filled presentations and its repertoire is diverse and challenging reflecting adventurous spirit. Its aim is to present choral singing with excellence that will inspire and refresh audiences while moulding its singers’ vocal abilities. With core value to be for the benefit of others, the choir performs dedicated fund raising concerts to help missionary organizations every year. Notable presentations includes Mendelssohn's Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus, Coronation Anthems, Haydn's Creation & Mass in C Minor, cantatas and other contemporary & modern choral works
Graeme has enjoyed directing the RPC choir for over 25 years, and also sings in the Richmond Chorus and EnChor. He is a member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He is so happy for his singers to be participating in DCINY's Messiah.
The Richmond Presbyterian Church Choir is a talented and dedicated group of volunteer singers who find energy and fulfillment in offering their musical gifts to God and the congregation.
June Vinson is not our musical director, but she is the driving force behind the creation of our choir. Growing up in West Virginia, June sang in her high school chorus and all-county chorus. At WVU Tech she continued to sing in various groups, including the traveling concert chorus. They sang The Messiah for the town before Christmas and June has never forgotten the emotional impact it had on her. She wanted to recreate this wonderful spiritual feeling and bring the people of Chesapeake, Virginia together to experience the true meaning of Christmas. June sings in the production each year.
The Chesapeake Community Messiah Production is entirely volunteer, with participants who live, work, or worship in Chesapeake. For our first performance in 2007, we had 185 voices and 25 musicians. Ranging in age from 16 to 88, some members of our choir have participated every year, others come and go. Our orchestra is largely made up of music teachers and students from our schools. Each year we have a guest conductor and begin rehearsals in October. We have been hosted all 13 years at Great Bridge Baptist Church. Our concert is free and open to the public.
Deborah Pratt holds a Master of Arts in Music Education from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Her experience includes 40 years of teaching music in public and private educational settings. Currently, in addition to directing the Rogue Community Chorus at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, Oregon, Ms. Pratt owns and teaches at Music4Kids Music Learning Center where she offers Kindermusik classes for ages birth to seven, as well as a youth choir and piano classes.
Singers high school age and older join together in the Rogue Community Chorus to sing a variety of music, culminating in performances at the RCC Rogue Auditorium and in other community venues. The music performed covers a wide variety of musical genres, including seasonal music, popular songs, classical works, patriotic and traditional music, Broadway selections, contemporary choral compositions, and a capella arrangements.
JeanDrendel and Nancy Mueller, Streator, Illinois, have co-produced a community production of MESSIAH for 30 years. Both are music majors and former music teachers, church musicians and private instructors in Streator.
The Streator Community Chorus has performed MESSIAH in alternate years since 1990. The performances are always enthusiastically performed and received!
Dr. Jack Schmidt has directed the Palisades Community Chorus since 1998. He is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Liberal Arts at Delaware Valley University. He received his PhD in Music History from Northwestern University. His research specialty is seventeenth century Lutheran Sacred music. He has published articles and presented papers on related topics for many professional musical organizations. Dr. Schmidt has conducted numerous amateur and professional ensembles. Prior to his appointment at Delaware Valley University in 1997, Dr. Schmidt taught music at Towson University, Northwestern University and Elgin Community College.
The Palisades Community Chorus was founded by Donna Parris in 1992, the PCC provides a valuable cultural experience to the people of Bucks County in Eastern Pennsylvania. The members study and perform choral music under the direction of Dr. Jack Schmidt. We are a non-auditioned choir and registration is at an affordable cost. The Chorus has performed a diverse classical repertory, a variety of American music and music from around the world as part of its exploration of musical expression. The Chorus continues its collaboration with several local organizations as we unite many different walks of life through music.
Bill Howell is the Associate Pastor of Worship of Travis Ave. Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has a passion for leading people in worship to our Creator God. He has served as a Minister of Music in Texas churches since August 1989 when he surrendered to God's call into full time vocational ministry. Bill and his wife, Kathy, met while at Texas Tech University where they played in the Goin' Band from Raiderland. They have been married for 33 years, and have 2 sons, Jonathan (Emily) Howell, and Jacob Howell. They have two amazing grandkids, Rebekah and Jaxon.
The Sanctuary Choir of Travis Ave. Baptist Church has been a huge part of the church's history. Just a few miles from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, it was a training ground for men called into vocational music ministry. The music ministry continues to thrive as we lead God's people into the presence of a Holy God, seek to know Jesus, the Messiah, and make Him known among the nations. We love to do that utilizing great hymns of the faith, and cutting edge spiritual songs that remind us of who He is and His great love for us!
Jennifer Linhart Wood (B.Mus., M.A., Ph.D.) is a lyric soprano who directs the Trinity Episcopal Church Choir, and enjoys singing music ranging from Renaissance motets to Classical arias to church choral music. She has directed choirs for over fifteen years and is an active composer, penning choral arrangements and original anthems. She has performed as a soloist throughout the District-Maryland-Virginia area; on studio albums; and with acclaimed choirs, including the Metropolitan Chorus at the Kennedy Center. Jennifer’s fascination with the transformative power of music inspired her first book, *Sounding Otherness in Early Modern Drama and Travel Writing* (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
The Trinity Episcopal Church Choir, the Voices of Trinity, is an inclusive, joy-filled, and diverse branch of the Trinity family, and is comprised of parish members and students from Saint Mary’s College. We sing a wide range of music to celebrate our diversity; we have performed works by Haydn, Moses Hogan, Tallis, Stanford, Chilcott, Joseph Martin, Mary Macdonald, Pepper Choplin, and—of course—Handel. At Trinity, the music we sing serves as an enhancement to the worship experience, drawing people closer to Christ. We believe that music, especially music that is reflective of God’s love, is a transformative force.
James L. McLaughlin is music director to the Zanesville Civic Chorus. His music study has been at Ohio University and Westminster Choir College. He is Musician in Residence at Central Trinity UMC, assistant Director to the Y-City Barbershop Chorus, adjudicator for the OMEA, and booking agent for the Zanesville Concert Association. He taught vocal and choral music in the Zanesville City Schools for 31 years. His music conservatory offers private voice, organ, and piano lessons.
The Zanesville Civic Chorus is a community chorus sponsored by the Thursday Music Club of Zanesville, Ohio. Membership is open to high school and adult singers from the community. This year the chorus is celebrating its 90th annual production of Handel’s Messiah with orchestra for the Zanesville/Muskingum County community. A free will offering is taken each year at the concert and given to a local charity in “the spirit of Handel”. The chorus also performs a spring choral concert often partnering with other music ensembles.
Mrs. Day has a music degree from Iowa State University in Music Education and Performance. She is also certified in the Orff Levels and Master Class. Christine is retired after teaching 42 years in the public school system but still continues teaching private music lessons. For 37 years she has been chancel choir director and for 12 years as bell choir director for the First United Methodist Church in Wamego. She has received the “Outstanding Elementary Music Teacher” from the North Central District of the Kansas Music Educator’s Association two times and the Geary County “Shining Star” award. From the Santa Fe Trail Association, Christine has received the following awards; Educational Teacher Award, the Paul Bentrup Ambassador Award, and a Huck Boyd “Leader of the Year” award for the Santa Fe Trail education trips with students.
The Flint Hills Messiah Chorus and Chamber Orchestra traces its roots to the late 1980's when the KANZA Conference of the United Methodist Church organized an ecumenical performance of Messiah three times before the Wamego Council of Churches and a steering committee of volunteers from the area took the reins of the organization in 1991 and named it The Flint Hills Messiah Chorus.The all-volunteer chorus has gathered each year since, except 2000, to perform portions of Messiah during the Easter season. Until 1998, an organist and pianist accompanied the chorus. In 1998 the chamber orchestra was added to the performance. For the performance in 2019, the chorus numbered 54 singers with a 26 piece chamber orchestra.