Bask in Handel's inspiring Messiah, surrounded by candlelight and Calvary's magnificent Tiffany stained-glass masterpieces at 4:00pm on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. Doors open at 3:15pm when volunteers welcome audience members to view the windows and select their seats for this moving holiday concert. Our interactive, family-friendly concert features professional soloists, Chamber Orchestra, Messiah Choir, our historic 1895 Farrand & Votey organ, and is followed by a cookie reception in the Victorian Chapel.
This will be our sixth year bringing this Calvary tradition to the Pittsburgh area. The concert is family-friendly - each child under 12 will receive a kid’s activity pack. The sing-along was founded on a principle of openness - everyone is welcome in the choir, and everyone is welcome in the performance. No audition is required to sing, just join the rehearsals. As an audience member you are not required to sing, but you are certainly invited to sing.
This holiday tradition now brings over 400 people to Calvary UMC to sing selected choruses including the famous "Hallelujah Chorus." It's a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season, and we invite everyone to join us and sing for the joy of it!
Brian Burns Conductor/Music Director
Brian Burns (Music Director, Calvary United Methodist Church) is a long-time Pittsburgh resident and a native of Armstrong county. There, he began playing the Hammond organ in church at the age of 12. While attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a piano major, he was introduced to the pipe organ and changed his major to organ performance under the direction of the late Dr. Carol Teti. He was one of the first recipients of the Carol Teti Memorial Scholarship. His undergraduate work was completed with Dr. Christine Clewell in 2001. He served at several churches including St. Bernard's (Indiana, PA) and Ford Memorial United Methodist Church (Ford City, PA). Brian worked for three years with local organ builder Harry Ebert before discovering Calvary United Methodist Church where he used his skills to guide the restoration of Calvary's historic 1894 Farrand & Votey organ. Brian currently directs Calvary's Renewal Choir, the Festival Choir, and plays for all of Calvary's services.
David Bridge Organist
David Bridge is an organist at Bethany United Methodist Church in Latrobe. He has served churches in Westmoreland, Allegheny and Beaver Counties. As primary musician for the 2006 Synod Assembly of the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, he played organ and piano and directed all ensembles. Venue highlights for solo organ recitals include: Heinz Chapel; Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Uniontown,; and Lake Lure, North Carolina, A 1998 graduate of St. Vincent College with a bachelor’s in music education, he studied voice with Dr. Curt Scheib, Shirley Huls and Roland Wyatt. He studied piano with Fr. Joseph Bronder, O.S.B and organ with Edgar B. Highberger. David conducted our Messiah in 2012, and was organist from 2013-2015. David operates The David Bridge Music Studio which provides private lessons for children and adults for piano, voice, and organ.
Anna Singer Soprano
Anna Singer appeared with Palm Beach Opera Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall and as soprano soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 throughout Europe, most recently in Lisbon with the Orquestra Sinfonica Portugesa. Ms. Singer made her Carnegie Hall main stage debut with Manhattan Philharmonic. She has sung with New York City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and the opera companies of Cleveland, Los Angeles, Palm Beach, and Fort Worth, among others. Her many roles with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh include her acclaimed SummerFest performances as Hannah in The Merry Widow and Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music. Anna has sung leads in such operas as Tosca, Salome, Aida, Susannah, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lohengrin, Die Walkure, and Die Fledermaus, among others. For Microscopic Opera, she recently performed the role of Madame Lisette in Therese Racquin, among others. Anna made her Carnegie Hall recital debut as a result of her first prize-winning at the Center for Contemporary Opera Vocal Competition. She was awarded First Prize at the Palm Beach Opera Competition, the Dicapo Opera Theatre Vocal Competition, among many others. Heard on air as mid-day host on WQED-FM, Anna is soprano soloist for The Presbyterian Church, Sewickley. A popular soloist and recitalist, she is honored to return for our Messiah for the sixth consecutive year.
Kara Cornell Mezzo-Soprano
Kara Cornell is a classically trained singer who is becoming nationally known as a cross-over artist, performing a wide range of stage roles and musical styles. Her fearless acting and honest emotional interpretations have made her quite believable as a variety of characters, including her intense gypsy “Carmen” (Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Long Island Opera), a sweet ingénue “Cinderella” (St. Petersburg Opera) to a dashing pants role “Orfeo” (Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Mosaic-Arts). This year Kara made her Pittsburgh Opera debut in LITTLE WOMEN, was soloist with the Akron Symphony, reprised the title role in CARMEN with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and Long Island Opera. Kara also has a busy concert schedule; most recently touring a world premiere solo song recital entitled “Creative Collaborations”. In 2017 Kara will make her Winter Opera St. Louis debut in CARMEN, perform in her first FALSTAFF with Resonance Works | Pittsburgh and will be a guest soloist in Dvořák’s STABAT MATER with The Berkeley Chorus and Orchestra. Kara is an eastern NY native who relocated with her husband to Pittsburgh (O'Hara Township) in 2015, where she maintains an active private voice studio. This will be her second year performaing in our Messiah concert.
George Milosh Tenor
George Milosh, tenor, is a native of Aliquippa, PA, and a graduate of the Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance. Since graduating from the Conservatory, George has been seen performing with multiple ensembles and companies throughout the Pittsburgh area. As a member of the professional core of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, he has been featured as a soloist on their performances of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and Bach’s St. John Passion, the latter two with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. On stage, George has been seen as Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Undercroft Opera, in the trio in Trouble in Tahiti with Resonance Works Pittsburgh, in Frida with Microscopic Opera, and as a member of the Pittsburgh Opera chorus. Also a burgeoning conductor, George is a former choir director at St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church, assistant conductor of Tsar Lazar Serbian Men's Choir, and has prepared choirs for Resonance Works and Undercroft Opera. George is a member of the Chancel Choir at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, is a student of Sari Gruber, and is proud Ravenclaw. He is honored to return for our Messiah for the third consecutive year.
Matthew Hunt Baritone
Matthew Hunt has performed with vocal ensembles in the United States, England, and Italy, with a focus on oratorio works. In addition to performing as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Matthew’s oratorio credits include Lucifero in Alessandro Stradella’s Esule dalle Sfere, Pilatus in Bach's St. John Passion, and Lucifero in Handel's La Resurrezione. In Pittsburgh, he also performed in the 2014 Resonance Works production of L'elisir d'amore. He is a member of the professional core of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and has performed with them as a soloist in Giacomo Carissimi's Jephte, Beethoven's Mass in C, Rossini's Petite messe solennelle, and most recently Durufle's Requiem. Matthew currently studies with baryton-Daniel Teadt. He is honored to return for our Messiah for the fifth consecutive year.
Come Sing With Us! Join the Messiah Choir ALL are welcome!
Tiffany meets Handel! Join us for Pittsburgh's new holiday tradition! Sing a choral masterpiece surrounded by Tiffany masterpieces at the magnificently restored Calvary United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh's Northside. Since 2011, this concert has been practically a sell-out! You don't have to be a member of Calvary to sing in the Messiah Choir. As always, please invite your friends and family to come sing with us too! It’s always a fun time, and no auditions are required. It’s a community event and we like to keep it low stress and encourage anyone and everyone to get involved! All voice parts are needed. No auditions required! Choir positions are unpaid. The choir is using the Watkins Shaw/Novello score. Contact us if you are interested in joining the Messiah Choir.
Already a member of the Messiah Choir? Resources