77th Annual Messiah Set
The venue for the 77th performance of Handel’s “Messiah” scheduled for 3 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 3, has changed – the performance is moving back into the historic F.G. Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University.
The Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra presentation is a long-standing tradition marking the start of the holiday season in the Lake area on the first Sunday of December for over seven decades on the McNeese campus.
The tradition began in 1940 when a new young college teacher – Francis G. Bulber -conducted the first performance of the “Messiah” in the Auditorium of what was then John McNeese Junior College. Bulber was inspired to bring local church choirs together along with students from McNeese to make this an annual event. The current director is Bulber’s daughter, Colette Bulber Tanner,
This year, six McNeese students and a guest artist will be featured as soloists: Layton Bergstedt, tenor, Lake Charles; Lindsey Bower, soprano, Lake Charles; Tyler Brumback, tenor, Lake Charles; Emmie Lancon, soprano, Lake Charles; Amy Phillips, mezzo-soprano, Livingston, Texas; and Ashley Traughber, soprano, Houston, Texas, McNeese students; and guest artist Noah Lanier, bass/baritone, Sulphur.
Bergstedt is a junior vocal and piano performance major. He has held leading roles in McNeese’s productions of Mozart’s “Bastien und Bastienne” and Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate.” He has performed in the McNeese George Gershwin, Porter, Patsy Cline and Burt Bacharach showcases. He sings in the choirs at University United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd and is a member of the Renaissance Southwest. This is his second year performing as a soloist in “Messiah.”
Bower, a junior vocal performance major, has performed in the McNeese Gershwin, Porter and Bacharach showcases. She is a recipient of the Dorothy and Wallace Hanna Music Scholarship. This is her first year as a soloist in “Messiah.”
Brumback is a senior vocal performance major. He performs with a local ensemble, Rhode, and has performed as lead in several musical theatre productions including McNeese’s “Kiss Me Kate” and KC Productions’ “Sweeney Todd.” This is his third year performing as a soloist in “Messiah.”
Lancon, a senior vocal performance major, has performed in several productions and singing events in the area such as McNeese’s “Kiss Me, Kate,” ACTS Theatre’s “Into the Woods” and “The Pajama Game.” She is the recipient of the Dr. Sam Emerson Award and president of McNeese’s Student National Association of Teachers of Singing chapter. This is her second year performing as a soloist in “Messiah.”
Phillips is a senior vocal performance education major. She is the recipient of a Hardtner Endowed Scholarship and this is her third year performing as a soloist in “Messiah.”
Traughber is a senior vocal performance major. She has performed in several productions in the area including KC Productions’ “Sweeney Todd” and McNeese’s “Kiss Me Kate,” as well as with the Houston Grand Opera. This is her second year performing as a soloist in “Messiah.
Lanier is a music education graduate from LSU who has performed with the LSU Opera and with Opera Louisiane. He is the choir director at Heritage Baptist Church in Lake Charles and he performs with the Lake Charles renaissance ensemble, Renaissance Southwest. He works at Bevel Corp. in Sulphur and is working on his Master of Business Administration degree at McNeese.
Persons needing accommodations as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the ADA Coordinator at 337-475-5428, voice; 337-475-5960, fax; 337-562-4227, TDD/TTY, hearing impaired; or by email at email@example.com.