David Evans

John Tiranno
Barbara Kilduff
Laurie Tramuta

David Rudari
BETHANY, W.Va. — The Bethany College Choir will present Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, at St. Joseph Cathedral, Wheeling, on Sunday, December 10, 2006 at 3:15 p.m.

The College Choir and guest soloists will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra under the direction of guest conductor, Dr. David Evans, Professor of Music and Associate Director Emeritus of the School of Music at SUNY College Fredonia. This performance has its roots in the long-standing tradition of Messiah performances given at Bethany during the tenure of Dr.George Hauptfuehrer.

“Since my first performance on campus, I have been asked if the Choir was presenting Messiah at Christmas,” said David J. Rudari, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Choir at Bethany. “I was disappointed that our plans at the time couldn’t include Messiah. Now I am happy to respond that they do.”

There will be a pre-concert talk given by James Benner, Professor of Music and Director of Opera Emeritus at West Virginia University. Benner, an accompanist, voice coach, and musical scholar of international renown, has for many years served as a professional accompanist for many leading singers. He has performed in recitals with Rudari on three occasions at Bethany.

“James Benner is an incredible musician and raconteur,” said Rudari. “I am grateful for every opportunity to work with him, and I am eager that he will lend his insights to our concert.”

Barbara Kilduff, the soprano soloist, has enjoyed a career on both the American and European stages in opera, oratorio and song. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1987 and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic.

The mezzo-soprano soloist is Laurie Tramuta. She has served as an adjunct member of the Voice Faculty at SUNY College at Fredonia for twelve years and has performed a variety of operatic roles with the Western New York Opera Theater at Artpark, the Greater Buffalo Opera, the Erie Opera Theater, the Fredonia Hillman Opera, and Opera Sacra.

The tenor soloist is John Tiranno. Upon completion of his Master of Music degree at West Virginia University, he began a successful career, singing nationally with the Sarasota Opera, Opera Colorado, Lake George Opera, Augusta Opera, The Ash Lawn Opera Festival, and Opera in the Heights, and most recently with the New York Grand Opera. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in the 2005-2006 season and made his Avery Fisher Hall debut in the fall of 2006.

Rudari will serve as the baritone soloist. In addition to his duties at Bethany, he is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at West Virginia University.

Evans has appeared with the Vienna Chamber Opera, the Salzburg Festival and has been on German and Austrian television in various opera and oratorio roles. Upon his return from Europe, he completed his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at West Virginia University. Before coming to SUNY Fredonia, Evans taught at St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, North Carolina and, after retiring from Fredonia, served for one year at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He now serves as the Director of the Outer Banks Senior Chorus.

The choir will include the students from the College Choir, members of the Faculty, alumni, and members of the College Community.

All tickets for the concert are general admission and will be $10. Anyone who would like to purchase tickets or is need of further information should contact Judy Marshall by e-mail at or by phone at (304) 829-7411.