Festival choristers, soloists and orchestra from Christ Church, Community Congregational Church, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and Temple B'Nai Jeshurun will perform a special holiday concert featuring George Frideric Handel's Messiah (Part 1) on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.. The Festival Orchestra will comprise distinguished artists from major New York orchestras including the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, American Ballet Theater Orchestra and others. 

The concert will feature local soloists from Christ Church's Parish Choir; soprano Susan Bovan, contralto Adrienne Foutz, tenor Richard Marchisio, baritone Chuck Schneider and bass John Lamb.

The Concert, the first ever performance of Handel’s Messiah at Christ Church in Short Hills, New Jersey, will be conducted by Christ Church parishioner and Short Hills resident George Mathew.

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Award-winning conductor George Mathew is the founder and Artistic Director of Music for Life International, a New York-based global social enterprise, which creates social impact and public diplomacy through music. He has appeared in the U.S., Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Europe as conductor, pianist and speaker.  Since 2006, Mr. Mathew and Music for Life International have presented a series of global humanitarian concerts at Carnegie Hall which have brought together hundreds of musicians from over 120 of the world’s most distinguished orchestral, chamber and choral ensembles to raise funds and public awareness for major international crises. He has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York and was the Founder Conductor of the Young People’s Concerts at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. 

Dr. Andrew Moore is the Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church in Short Hills.  Dr. Moore is Chairman of the Music Department at the Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.  Dr. Moore earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and holds a Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School in New York City, where he studied under John Weaver, chair of the Organ Department. He also has studied improvisation with Gerre Hancock and the harpsichord with Lionel Party, the acclaimed harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic. 

The historic, renowned organ at Christ Church in Short Hills is a 63 rank Aeolian-Skinner opus 1347 designed by organ builder Joseph Whiteford in 1960.  It is the largest of its kind in the state of New Jersey.  The organ was restored in 2015 and the new antiphonal organ and Trompette en Chamade were tonally designed by organ builder, Bynum Petty. 

The Rev. Bowie Snodgrass, Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church in Short Hills, will introduce the concert.  The Concert is presented free of charge. Free-will donations are welcome.  A Reception will follow the performance in Parish Hall. 

About Handel’s Messiah

Messiah is an English language oratorio composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, with scriptural text by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included in the Book of Common Prayer.  First performed in Dublin in 1741, it received a London premier the following year.  Today, the Messiah oratorio has become one the best known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.   The “Hallelujah” chorus in Part II of the work is one of the most recognizable musical selections of the composition. 

Christ Church in Short Hills

Christ Church in Short Hills, established in 1882, is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Christ Church in Short Hills is located at 66 Highland Avenue, Short Hills.  For more information, please visit: www.christchurchshorthills.org.