Ashland University Presenting Handel's Messiah; Traditional Holiday Masterpiece Featuring Many Soloists

10/20/10 ASHLAND, OH -- The Department of Music at Ashland University is proud to present the holiday masterpiece George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" performed by the Ashland University Choir, Ashland Area Chorus and Ashland Chamber Orchestra with Dr. Rowland Blackley as conductor on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.

As the most famous oratorio ever written, "Messiah" is a collection of texts drawn from the sacred scriptures dealing with Christ's birth, sufferings, death and resurrection. Best known for its "Hallelujah" chorus, the choral piece also features several well-loved recitatives and arias sung by soloists.

Dr. Blackley, professor of music and director of choral activities at Ashland University, previously presented Handel's "Messiah" at Ashland University in 2005. While conducting the University Choir, Chamber Singers, and Ashland Area Chorus, he also teaches in the areas of conducting and music education. He co-directs the major opera workshop productions and has served as conductor and music director for several Ashland University theatrical productions.

With more than 150 musicians on the Hugo Young Theatre stage, Ashland University's presentation will feature Timothy Guenther on harpsichord along with vocal solos from several Ashland University students including sopranos Chanáe Curtis (Cleveland Heights), Melissa Fleming (Ashland), Margo George (Carrollton), Kara Minton (Cortland), Aly Slotterbeck (Woodville) and Marita Tornabene (New Philadelphia). Alto soloists feature Melissa Bloomfield (Van Wert), Emily Hoernschemeyer (Plymouth, Michigan) and Lauren Massaro (Creston). Male soloists are represented by tenors Bryon Black (Akron), Jordan Black (Ashland), Japheal Bondurant (Columbus), Taylor Hale (Hinckley) and Drew Rothhaar (Mansfield); while basses include Eddie Carney (Madison) and Jim Slike (Madison).

Reserved seating tickets for the performance are $7 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, Ashland University faculty and staff; and $1 for Ashland University students. To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Central Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 6 p.m., or visit the Box Office located in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre at the corner of Grant Street and College Avenue.

For more information, visit the Web site at www.ashland.edu/music<http://www.ashland.edu/music> or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu<mailto:tapplega@ashland.edu>.

Ashland University (www.ashland.edu<http://www.ashland.edu>) is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.