Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tonight 7 PM! The University of Alabama - Birmingham Chorus to perform at Messiah with Bob Jones HS Chorus.

The expanded sanctuary of Messiah Lutheran Church
offers exceptional accoustics for choral performances. 

The University of Alabama-Birmingham Chorus and Bob Jones High School Chorus will be in concert tonight at Messiah Lutheran Church 

This is a rare opportunity to hear fine choral music performed by an accomplished college choir (of about 60 voices) in our church sanctuary.  

Messiah choir director Randall Fields will be conducting his high school chorus as part of the program. The evening will include "O Magnum Mysterium" as a combined piece performed by both choruses.  
Concert begins at 7:00 p.m.  
Open to the public.  
Donations accepted.
Messiah Lutheran Church is located at 7740 Hwy 72 West, Madison, Alabama
for directions visit

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Countdown to First Concert of 2015. Debra Saylor - January 11th at 4 PM.

Solo Piano Concert, "Piano at Twilight" Sunday January 11th at 4 PM.

The Music at Messiah Classical Concert series extends Happy New Year blessings to all followers and friends,  and look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming January 11th  at 4 PM concert which features the extraordinary talent of pianist Debra Saylor.

Debra will be interviewed live on classical radio station WLRH this coming Friday, January 9th at 11:00 a.m. by regular morning host Ginny Kennedy.  WLRH can be found at FM/HD 89.3 or by listening online at  

Saylor, a finalist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for amateurs in 2000, took third place for her awe-inspiring performance of Debussy's Claire de Lune. Fellow Van Cliburn competitor Carl Tait described her semi-final performance in this entry from his March 2001 blog post as follows.

"The most memorable pianist of the entire competition made her first appearance at 4:15 that afternoon. Steve Cumming introduced Debra Saylor without fanfare, in much the same genially professional way he introduced all of us. We saw the long white cane first. There was a collective gasp. Debra Saylor was blind. Shea made her way to the piano bench with surprising speed and adjusted it quickly with well-practiced motions. She spread her arms widely across the keyboard several times to judge both height and proximity. My mind was awash in conflicting emotions. This was remarkable, brave, commendable - but would it be any good?

Debra began with Schubert's familiar Moment Musical in F minor. It was good. Very good. I was smiling within seconds. The performance had a cheerful Viennese lilt and real charm. Next came Debussy's Clair de lune, for which no one was prepared, or could have been prepared. Debussy's overplayed work, mutilated by several generations of piano students over the past century, glowed to new life in Debra's hands. Her tone was warm and deep, her legato singing, her phrasing impeccable, her pianissimos infinitely shaded. Anyone who claims not to have been in tears by the end is probably lying. It was one of those revelatory performances in which one feels the composer's ideas fusing with the artistry of a gifted pianist."

Titled "Piano at Twilight" attendees can expect Saylor's artistry on the piano to fill Messiah Lutheran' Church's recently expanded sancturay with piano works written by the world's finest composers.  It is sure to inspire and move audiences of all ages.  Oh and be warned, Debussy's Claire de Lune is on the program so you might want to grab a few tissues before you arrive!

Here's a wonderful performance by Debra from a later Van Cliburn competition.   We truly are blessed to have this wonderful musician perform a concert with the Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Debra Saylor performs "Piano at Twilight" for January 11th 2015 Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series

Give the Gift of Music and mark January 11th on your 2015 Calender.  

On Sunday, January 11th, Music at Messiah presents pianist Debra Saylor, an award winner at the Van Cliburn Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. The full-length concert from will feature her winning interpretation of Debussy's "Clair de Lune" along with works by Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. The concert is open to the public and will begin at 4:00 pm at Messiah Lutheran Church 
on Route 72 in Madison.

Give a gift of music for Christmas.   Series sponsorships begin at the $25 dollar level and come with a single line dedication of your choosing.  Donating with a dedication is a wonderful way to honor and recognize your loved ones!  The Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series is a self supporting series focused on presenting quality live and free classical concert performances to our community.  The date for having sponsor forms and advertising artwork in is January 4th. 2015.   Forms are available at the Welcome Center desk of Messiah Lutheran Church.

We also offer advertising rates for any area businesses starting at $25.00.  Contact us today for more information, details. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A "Barefoot Abbey" and the Brilliant Spanish Composer Thomas Luis de Victoria.

Music at Messiah's Classical Concert next concert will be Saturday evening, November 1st starting at 7:30 pm.  It will feature Huntsville Collegium Musicum's performance of Thomas Luis de Victoria's Officium Defunctorm.  

Researching Victoria's "Requiem" for relevant visuals for the poster and program artwork was an interesting journey.
The spanish composer was born in 1548, and evidence suggests he grew up a choir boy in the Cathedral in Avila. The Catholic Counter- Reformation that nearly paralled his years provide a historical backdrop for this young Catholic man with outstanding musical gifts. So promising were his talents that Philip II provided him a grant to travel to Italy in 1567. 

Victoria lived in Italy for the next twenty years; he canted, attended seminary, taught at the German College and was very well respected, holding a number of succeedingly impressive posts as a chapelmaster and organist.   By 1587 Victoria desired to return to Spain, and once again, Philip II responded, posting him to be the personal Chaplain of the Dowager Empress Maria.

The music itself is a funeral mass written for Empress MarĂ­a's death in 1603. She lived in retirement with her daughter Princess Margarita at the royal monestary The Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, literally the "Monastery of Barefoot Royals." Upon entry to the convent, these well heeled women would donate their dowry to the convent and vow to go shoeless. (Could it be expensive women's shoes have always been horribly uncomfortable?) The convent was tremendously well off and the Monastery allowed Victoria to produce gloriously rich and spiritual compositions until his death in 1611.

The Counter Reformation fueled  a revived spritualism in Catholic religious arts, and this is also evidenced by Victoria's contemporary, El Greco, whose Crucificion also appears on the poster artwork.  The intensity and palette of tones are emotional, and one cannot listen to Victoria's Requiem without feeling that same sense of spiritual awakening that is ever present in El Greco's work.

If you are intrigued by this, you'll really enjoy this Sacred Music program on Victoria produced recently by BBC on Victoria's music, featuring the choral group "The Sixteen." It's lengthy, but well worth an extended listening.  I hope this article, as well as the video pique your curiousity and compel you to attend the November 1st presentation of Victoria's Officium Defunctorium.

  - Meredith Kilby, for the Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series

Friday, September 26, 2014

Huntsville Collegium Musicum to Perform Saturday November 1st, 7:30 pm

Preparations underway for our next Music at Messiah concert.

Please mark you calendars for Saturday evening, November 1st, 2014 at 7:30 PM

We are pleased to announce Huntsville Collegium Musicum will be performing Thomas Luis de Victoria's 1605 Officium Defunctorium commonly known as his "Requiem Mass."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Solar Winds "A European Tour" Concert Tomorrow at 4 PM

Solar Winds: Woodwind Quintet Concert this Sunday

Final preparations have been made for the first concert of the second season of Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.

Sunday's concert features 'Solar Winds', a woodwind quintet comprised of five musicians from the US Army Materiel Command Band at Redstone Arsenal.

The quintet rehearsed Friday afternoon at Messiah Lutheran Church the pieces they will be presenting Sunday, September 21st. They familiarized themselves with the stage and the captivating acoustics of the sanctuary when filled with rich, beautiful sound.  Here's a sneak peek, an excerpt from the Rondo of Beethoven's Op 71.   

The Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series is delighted to feature this talented ensemble.  Oboeist Staff Seargeant Katherine Beyer leads the 'Solar Winds' quintet, and remarked that playing the Concert Series is a terrific opportunity for them to rehearse and perform classical music that's a bit outside of the typical military band repertoire.
SSG Beyer has only recently moved to the Huntsville area and gave high praise for the Madison/Huntsville area having an abundant offerings to enjoy great music.

We sincerely hope that you take this Sunday's opportunity to enjoy great music performed beautifully in a space so suited for small chamber ensembles such as 'Solar Winds'

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Solar Winds:Woodwind Quintet to perform September 21

The Solar Winds Woodwind Quintet will be performing on Sunday, September 21st at Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison, AL.  The free concert starts at 4 pm. 

The Woodwind Quintet is comprised of five members of the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band at Redstone Arsenal.  Namely, Oboe: SFC Megan Newman, Flute: SPC Robert Lambert, Clarinet: SPC Eric Flores-Ortiz, Horn: SPC Stephan Fahrlander, Bassoon: SSG Kathryn Beyer.

The full length concert is titled, "A European Tour," and will include works by Beethoven, Ibert, Stamitz, and others.   An intermission and reception following the concert is planned.