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Messiah College Choral Arts Society to perform selections reflecting Jewish history and worship in April

March 2nd, 2016

Choral artsMECHANICSBURG, Pa. (March 2, 2016)—The Messiah College Choral Arts Society, directed by award-winning conductor Linda L. Tedford, will perform two pieces addressing central themes in Jewish culture and history: “Chichester Psalms” by Leonard Bernstein, with choir, harp, organ and percussion, and “Holocaust Cantata” by Donald McCullough, featuring choir, cello and piano. The concert will be held Sunday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in Messiah College’s Parmer Hall in the Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts. Tickets are available through the Messiah College Box Office at 717-691-6036 or In its 70th season, Messiah College Choral Arts Society performs choral masterpieces for area audiences. The choir is open to community members and students by audition.

About “Chichester Psalms”

“The program is a study of contrasts,” said Tedford. “In ‘Chichester Psalms’ the Jewish people are praising God with the Psalms of David, set to music that is joyful, tender, uplifting.”  Sung in Hebrew, the “Chichester Psalms” were commissioned for a 1965 music festival at Chichester Cathedral in England, but first performed by the New York Philharmonic, directed by Bernstein, on July 15, 1965.

About the “Holocaust Cantata”

The “Holocaust Cantata,” on the other hand, is a collection of letters and songs, written by Polish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Haunting melodies express longing, loss and the life-affirming power of music and community. “Donald McCullough features music of ordinary people – music embraced by the whole community and passed secretly through oral singing,” said Tedford. The Cantata has no overall plot or story. Translated from the original Polish to English by lyricist Denny Clark, each piece is a reflection by a different person, each in a different place and time within the holocaust experience. Between music selections, the prisoners’ letters will be read by choir members and theatre students.

About the Messiah College Choral Arts Society

The Messiah College Choral Arts Society enters its 71st season this year, continuing its commitment to fine performances of major choral works with orchestra. The choir is open to community members and Messiah students, faculty and staff by audition.

The Choral Arts Society is under the direction of Linda L. Tedford, Director of Choral Activities at Messiah College. She is also the founder and conductor of the Susquehanna Chorale, Ensemble-in-Residence at Messiah College. She is a recipient of Chorus America’s Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the PA American Choral Directors Association prestigious Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence and Theater Harrisburg’s Award for Distinguished Service in the Capitol Area. Ms. Tedford holds a master of music in conducting from Temple University, where she studied with internationally respected conductor, Robert Page.

About Messiah College

Messiah College, a private Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences, enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1909, the primary campus is located in Mechanicsburg, Pa., near the state capital of Harrisburg.


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