The Lake Charles Messiah Chorus and Orchestra will present a holiday tradition here in Southwest Louisiana with the 78th performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in historic F.G. Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University.
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, eight McNeese students will be featured as soloists: Layton Bergstedt, tenor, Lake Charles; Lindsey Bower, soprano, Lake Charles; Tyler Brumback, tenor, Lake Charles; Lara Connally, soprano, Lake Charles; MaryKate Core, mezzo-soprano, Lake Charles; Amy Phillips, mezzo-soprano, Livingston, Texas; Taylor Trahan, mezzo-soprano, Lake Charles; and Ashley Traughber, soprano, Houston, Texas.
Bergstedt is a senior vocal and piano performance major. He is president of the McNeese Chamber Singers and a choir member at both the University United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. He is the recipient of the Dr. William C. Groves Vocal Music Scholarship and was named the KPLC Scholar of the Month of March 2018. This is his third year performing as a soloist.
Bower, a senior vocal performance major, has served as president and treasurer of the music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. She has performed in several showcases, singing classics by composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Burt Bacharach. This is her second time performing as a soloist.
Brumback is a senior vocal performance major. He is a member of the McNeese Chamber Singers, the Men’s Ensemble and the Student National Association of Teachers of Singing chapter. He is an alumnus of Kappa Kappa Psi. This is his fourth year performing as a soloist.
Connally is a junior vocal performance major and is actively involved in McNeese theatre, as well as a founding member of Black Market Theatre Company. This is her first year as a soloist.
Core is a senior vocal performance major. She is a member of the McNeese Chamber Singers, Women’s Ensemble and Opera Workshop. In 2017, she appeared as Sam in McNeese Theatre’s production of “Kiss, Me Kate” and will perform in the January production of “Songs for a New World.” She is also a member of the First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir. This is her first year as a soloist.
Phillips is a senior vocal performance major and a recipient of an endowed scholarship. She is vice president of the McNeese student chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. This past spring, Phillips played Lily Craven in McNeese Theatre’s musical, “The Secret Garden,” and she will perform in the January production of “Songs for a New World.” She has performed in several showcases and in the Black Market Theatre Company at Center Stage. This is her fourth year performing as a soloist.
Stegall, a bass, is a senior vocal performance major from Sulphur. He spent a summer in Vienna, Austria, attending the Vienna Language Lieder program, he performed as Officer Krupky in the Lake Charles Civic Ballet’s production of “The Symphonic Dances of West Side Story” and later made his operatic debut as Kromov in Louisiana State University’s opera production of “The Merry Widow.” This is Stegall’s second year as a soloist.
Trahan is a senior performance major. She has performed in three showcases by composers Berlin, Gershwin and Bacharach. This is her third year performing as a soloist.
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 Fort Bend Theatre. This is her third year performing as a soloist.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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