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Messiah College’s Concert Choir and Penn State University’s Essence of Joy Alumni Singers join voices in a Festival of African American Choral Music

September 3rd, 2010

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GRANTHAM, Pa. (September 3, 2010) — On Sept. 25, the Messiah College Concert Choir will join voices with the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers to celebrate a Festival of African American Choral Music. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. in Hostetter Chapel on the college’s Grantham campus. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at 717-691-6036 or
In addition, Anthony T. Leach, director of the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers, will lead a public workshop, “African American Music: Rehearsal Strategies and Repertoire,” on Sept. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Hostetter Chapel.

The Essence of Joy Alumni Singers ( is comprised of alumni of Penn State University’s Essence of Joy Choir. The ensemble performs sacred and secular music from the African and African-American tradition in an effort to entertain, inspire, affirm and unify the worldwide community. The group is under the artistic direction of Leach, associate professor of music and music education at Penn State University. Leach founded Essence of Joy and the Penn State University Choir. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral and music education and holds a Ph.D. in music education and a M.M. in conducting from Penn State University, and a B.S. in music education from Lebanon Valley College.

The Messiah College Concert Choir is under the direction of Linda Tedford, Messiah’s director of choral activities and conductor of the Messiah College Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble and Chamber Singers. Tedford is the founder and conductor of the Susquehanna Chorale, ensemble-in-residence at Messiah College; the Susquehanna Youth Chorale; and the Susquehanna Children’s Chorale, based in Hershey, Pa. She holds a master’s degree in conducting from Temple University, where she studied with renowned conductor Robert Page. She also studied with contemporary musicians Gregg Smith, Dale Warland and the late Robert Shaw.

Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts sciences, enrolls 2,800 undergraduate students in more than 60 majors. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Grantham, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg. A satellite campus affiliated with Temple University is located in Philadelphia.

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