HANDEL’S ‘MESSIAH’ TONIGHT AT ST. PETER’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and Brenham Choral Society will present their annual Handel’s Messiah concert, conducted by Dr. A. Jan Taylor this (Monday) evening.

The performance which includes professional soloists, orchestra and dancers will be at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Peter’s. The program is free and open to the public with a reception  following.  St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is located at 2310 Airline Dr., Brenham.

Dr. Linda Patterson, Music Director at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church says “The program will begin with three short movements of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, which will be sung by the Brenham Choral Society, played by harpist Betsy Brownlee and danced by Kristyn Schramm, to choreography by Libby Lovejoy.”

The program will continue with Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by a professional orchestra and solists. Ceremony of Carols was written by Benjamin Britten in 1942 while he was at sea going from the United States to England.  Written for Christmas, it is based on text from The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems written by Gerald Bullett.

Returning this year is Dr. A. Jan Taylor, conductor.  Dr. Taylor, educator, pianist, singer and choral conductor, is Director of Choral Music Activities at Prairie View A&M University.  A native of Houston, Texas, she received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Houston, the Master of Arts degree from Prairie View A&M University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston.  Also returning is Annamarie Zmolek, a soprano, she placed first in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Southwest region), the Denver Lyric Opera Gluild Competition, and Ruth Burr Vocal Competition. Zmolek holds degrees from Rice University and the Eastman School of Music.  She is on faculty at Prairie View A&M University.

Other soloists include Amy Schramm, mezzo-soprano. Amy,  graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance. She has been involved on and off stage in several Unity Theatre shows and recently participated in the Butler Opera Center Young Artists Camp at the University of Texas where she learned and performed alongside other aspiring singers.  She offers private voice and beginning piano lessons as well as serves as Youth Minister at St. Peter’s Episocpal Church.  Peter Tran, tenor, is a Houston-based tenor that has been described as “an expert conveyor” and “remarkable deliverer of soaring lyrical lines”. He is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance program at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. In that time, he was an active performer with Moores Opera. Since graduation, he has also been featured in Houston Grand Opera’s East + West series.

Libby Lovejoy, choreographer, holds a BFA and MFA in Dance from Southern Megthodist University.  During her professional career of over 35 years, she has worked in many different states across the country teaching, chorographing or performing.  Libby has taught at many universities, commercial dance studios, professional dance companies as well as private and public schools.  Currently she serves as Co-Artistic Director of Ovation, a youth ballet company in residency at Dancers Workshop in Austin, master ballet classes at Saltare Studio in LaGrange and musical theatre dance at unity Theatre in Brenham.  Kristyn Schramm started her dance career at age nine under the direction of Libby Lovejoy.  Kristyn started an apprenticeship under Lovejoy at age twelve, teaching Ballet, and began teaching her own classes at age fifteen.  She has performed in the Ovation Ballet Company’s production of “Nutcracker” several times and she currently trains at Saltare Studio and Fine Arts Center in LaGrange and desires to become a professional dancer.

St. Peter’s will celebrate Christmas Eve with two services – a Family Service at 5:00 pm that will include the Children’s Christmas Pageant and Midnight Mass at 10:30 pm.  There will be a 11:00 am service on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.  St. Peter’s is located at 2310 Airline Dr., Brenham.  For additional information call 979-836-7248 or go to www.stpetersbrenham.org.