Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Concert Date August 2nd, Not July 26th as reported by recent Madison Record Article

Dear Friends of  Music at Messiah -

The Madison Record recently ran a printed article which listed an incorrect performance date as July 26th. While we're not certain where the error occurred, the good news is... you haven't missed the concert! They have placed the correct date on their online article, which can be read here. 

Here's the article.

Andrew Nalley will perform on August 2nd, 2015 at 4 PM at Messiah Lutheran Church. A light reception will follow the performance.  

Hear Andrew Nalley interviewed live on Friday 7/31 

We also have confirmed that Andrew will be interviewed on Classical Radio Station 89.3 WLRH by host Ginny Kennedy on Friday, July 31st at approximately 10 AM.    Listeners online can hear the interview here

We are grateful for the publicity and outreach these two media outlets provide our Classical Concert Series.

See you on August 2nd at 4 PM.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Andrew Nalley, Baritone, Set to Perform August 2nd

Outstanding, Emerging Baritone from the University of Alabama set to present the next concert for the Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.

Concert Information
Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 at  4:00 pm
Messiah Lutheran Church
7741 Hwy 72 West
Madison, Al 35758

Cost of the concert is free. Donations are welcome. A reception will be held after the performance.

Baritone Andrew Nalley is a senior at the University of Alabama where he is a student of Dr. Paul Houghtaling. At Alabama, Andrew has been heard in a variety of roles with the UA Opera Theatre including the title role in Don Giovanni, John Sorel in The Consul, Archibald Grosvenor in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience, and the Bailiff in the world premiere of Amir Zaheri’s The Raven’s Revenge. Also with the UA Opera Theatre, he was a finalist in the National Opera Association’s 2011 Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition in San Antonio, Texas. In 2014, he appeared as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods with Opera in the Ozarks in Arkansas.

 He has been a winner and a finalist in numerous competitions including Alabama’s MTNA Young Artist Voice Competition, the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, Birmingham Music Club Guild, Alabama Music Teachers Association, NATS, and the Montgomery Symphony’s Vann Vocal Institute Emerging Artists Competition. Additional performance credits include Dick McGann in Street Scene with the Harrower Opera Workshop and Robert Livingston in Huntsville, Alabama’s Independent Musical Theater’s production of 1776.

Andrew began his vocal studies with Martha Brouse at Belle Voce Studio in Huntsville. With Belle Voce he was seen as Count Almaviva in the Marriage of Figaro and Marius in Les Miserable. He has also studied at the Westminster Choir College’s CoOperative training program and has coached with David Cangelosi, Laurie Rogers, Alan Held, and Steven Crawford.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

AGO Organ Recital at Messiah Lutheran at Noon on April 9th

The console of Messiah Lutheran's  newly installed pipe organ
(Photo / illustration by Meredith Kilby)
The local AGO (American Guild of Organists) will be presenting an organ concert on Thursday, April 9th at 12:00 Noon at Messiah Lutheran Church, 7740 Hwy 72 West in Madison, Alabama.

Organists Susan Fletcher and Mary Williamson will be the recitalists.

Messiah's pipe organ is just into its first full year of enhancing the worship and music ministries at Messiah Lutheran Church. The church was built in 1993 and a pipe organ was installed shortly thereafter, but a 2011 sanctuary expansion necessitated the need for a larger instrument to be located.  The Organ Search Committee sought an instrument that would not only support Messiah's worship services but also serve as a quality performance and recital organ for the community and the newly formed Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.  After an extensive search and intensive build process during the summer of 2014,  Messiah dedicated the organ on October 26th, 2014 and held its first recital. 

The organ features over 800 pipes and is located within the upper level of the east transept of the choir area.  This custom built, refurbished organ was designed by Miller Pipe Organ Services with the rich textures of a solid foundation, adding tonal variety and color with reeds and mixtures.  The fine workmanship of the organ builders and the acoustics of the sanctuary combine to give the pipe organ a lively presence and glorious sound.

The event is presented by local American Guild of Organists members, in coordination with Lois Graff, who is the Organist and Director of Music at Messiah Lutheran Church.  Lois also serves on the board of the Music at Messiah Classical Concert Series.

The April 9th concert was originally scheduled March 5th as part of a noontime organ recital series during the Lenten season, but was cancelled due to wintry weather.

The concert is free and all are welcome to attend! 

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 María'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