Calvary United Methodist Church's Messiah Festival Choir has been invited to perform in a major production of Handel's Messiah on November 26, 2023, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Rated the "#1 Live Holiday Event in all of North America" by the BBC, this annual tradition sells out every year. We were invited to perform back in 2018, and we have been invited back this year to sing again! A tremendous honor!
It's a great honor to be invited to sing once, let alone two times. It is well-deserved recognition for our choir members' accomplishments in the last twelve years.
We're ready to go, but we need your help to get there!
Twelve years ago, a choir of 27 passionate singers — amateur and professional — and a four-piece chamber orchestra performed the first Handel's Messiah Sing-Along at Calvary United Methodist Church. Since then our choir has swelled to over 65 members and a 20-piece chamber orchestra. Over 1,200 people attend our performances and our concert is now a North Side and Pittsburgh holiday tradition.
Our sing-along was founded on a principle of openness - everyone is welcome to sing in the choir and everyone is welcome to participate in the performance. Our concert provides family-friendly holiday fun in our breathtaking, historic church. We provide free tickets to neighborhood schools, smaller churches, and groups such as "Tickets for Kids." Concert-goers bring non-perishable food items so we can support the "Northside Common Ministries Food Pantry," one of Calvary's community partners.
Our Messiah Festival Choir has helped revitalize Calvary's music and other ministries.
Our choir and our sing-along concert have done amazing things for Calvary and our community. None of it would have been possible without the in kind and financial support of many community members, volunteers, donors and sponsors.
Now we have the opportunity to represent Calvary, the North Side and Pittsburgh on stage at Carnegie Hall - to share our voices and our story of helping others in our community through our Messiah Concert.
The total cost for registration and travel are $26,600. Registration per person is $860.
Would you consider sponsoring one of our thirty-one singers for $860, or a "Hallelujah Chorus" for $100, or a seat on the bus to NYC for $100? Or choose a gift amount you would be proud of to send us on our way!
You can make your gift below with a credit card or PayPal account. Pleasethis with your family and friends by email or on Facebook so they have the chance to support us.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity of a lifetime and inspiring us to sing like we never have before!
We know that money can be tight, so please know that even $5 helps us get closer to our goal!
We have been working hard to create several great fundraising events and will have information coming soon.
You are invited to an Organ Concert featuring Brian Burns & David Bridge performing on Calvary’s Historic 1895 "Farrand & Votey" Pipe Organ.
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. There will be a free-will offering at intermission to help support the Calvary Choir on their journey to perform the Messiah at Carnegie Hall in New York City this November.
There will also be a reception in the Chapel following the concert.
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 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 has been organist since 2013. David operates The Bridge Music Studio which provides private lessons for children and adults in piano, voice, and organ. He currently serves as Director of Music and Worship Arts at Salem United Methodist Church in Wexford.