Orchestra, Choir, Choral Union Presenting Handel’s ‘Messiah: Easter Portion’ March 29-30

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 18, 2010 — Handel’s Baroque masterpiece, “Messiah: Easter Portion,” for orchestra, choirs and soloists will be performed by the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, University Choir and Choral Union March 29-30.

Performances both days are planned for 7:30 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. A brief pre-concert talk will be given by Paul Thompson, Southeast instructor of music, before both evening concerts. The talk is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. in the Bedell Performance Hall and is free to all ticket holders for this event.

The concert will feature the Easter Portion (Parts II and III) of “Messiah,” with powerful choruses and solos that tell the story of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. Gems including “The Trumpet Shall Sound,” along with the immortal “Hallelujah Chorus” will be performed. Performing vocal solos will be Lori Shaffer, soprano; Leslie Jones, mezzo-soprano; Christopher Goeke, tenor; and Timothy Schmidt, baritone.

The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra is under the direction of Sara Edgerton, who will conduct the first portion of the program. Southeast’s choral director, Steve Hendricks, will conduct the University Choir, Choral Union, and Symphony Orchestra in the performance of Handel’s “Messiah” on the second half of the concert.

This concert also will feature the student winners of the 2009-2010 Concerto and Aria competition, including Jacob Alexander of Birch Tree, Mo., baritone; Brooke Privett of Kennett, Mo., trumpet; and Cory Simonavice of Fenton, Mo., marimba. They will perform selections by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda, Charles Gounod and Paul Creston.

Alexander is a Southeast junior pursuing a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance as a student of Goeke. During his three years at Southeast, Alexander has been a member of both the University Choir and Chamber Choir (Cantus Choralis). He also has been an active member of Southeast’s Opera/Theatre Workshop, where he has performed the roles of Prince Charming in Alec Wilder’s “The Opening,” Tom in George Gershwin’s “Blue Monday,” Count Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le Nozze Di Figaro,” and most recently the Father in Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel.”  Alexander also performed in the chorus of the River Campus’s inaugural performance, Richard Miller’s “Big River.” He has been an active contest participant at the state and regional levels. In 2007, Alexander received first place in his division at the Missouri Music Teachers Association (MMTA) Collegiate Honors Auditions.  In 2008, he took second place at the Missouri National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Student Auditions, and most recently, in the fall of 2009, received second place at the Central Region NATS Student Auditions held in Rock Island, Ill. Alexander also is a member of Southeast Missouri State University’s student NATS chapter.

Privett graduated in May 2008 with a bachelor of music degree in trumpet performance from Southeast Missouri State University. She will graduate in May with a master’s degree in higher education administration with an emphasis in collegiate music education at Southeast. She studies private trumpet and pedagogy with Marc Fulgham. Privett began playing trumpet when she was 13 and has since competed in many events, winning the Senior Brass Division of the MMTA Competition in 2007, and placing third in the Graduate Division in 2008.  Privett was a member of the 2008 Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-Collegiate Band and was selected as principal trumpet for the 2009 MMEA All-Collegiate Orchestra.  She serves as the principal trumpet for the Southeast Symphony Orchestra and section leader for the Southeast Wind Symphony.  She has performed in the Southeast Studio Jazz Ensemble and has been a featured soloist for the Golden Eagles Marching Band and performed with the band at the 2008 Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. Privett is a member of the Southeast Faculty Brass Quintet and conducts the Southeast Brass Choir; she has also performed on occasion as a member of the Paducah Symphony.

Simonavice is a junior bachelor of arts in music and pre-pharmacy double major, with a chemistry minor, at Southeast Missouri State University. He is involved in several organizations on campus, such as Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and the Chemistry Club. Simonavice started playing percussion in sixth grade.  In high school, he played in the concert band, in musicals, and on the drumline during the marching and winter seasons.  His involvement in the winter drumline allowed him to perform across the nation, including world championships in Dayton, Ohio.  At Southeast Missouri State University, Simonavice has performed with the Southeast Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Golden Eagles Marching Band and Percussion Ensemble. He studies percussion with Department of Music faculty member Shane Mizicko.  He will be performing a solo recital for fulfillment of requirements towards his bachelors of arts degree on April 18.  After graduating from Southeast, he plans to attend pharmacy school.

Tickets for the March 29 and 30 concerts may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265.  Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at MetroTix.com, keyword “Messiah,” or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.