Heavenly music comes down to earth as MTSU, commun...

Heavenly music comes down to earth as MTSU, community choirs present holiday concert  

2018 Choral Concert promo

The MTSU Schola Cantorum, Middle Tennessee Choral Society, MTSU Meistersingers and the First Methodist Adult Choir will blend their voices Tuesday, Nov. 27, in a community musical performance of carols, holiday anthems and portions of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.”

MTSU 2018 Choral Concert poster

Click on the poster to see a larger version.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel: The Sounds of Christmas Concert” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at Murfreesboro’s First United Methodist Church at 265 W. Thompson Lane.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and $10 for children 12 and under and are available online at and at the door.

MTSU students, faculty and staff will be admitted free with current IDs.

This joint MTSU-community holiday production once again will feature a professional orchestra and MTSU student, faculty and guest soloists performing the Christmas portion of the 1741 “Messiah” oratorio, which includes some of its most popular recitatives, arias and choruses drawn from the King James Bible and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

This season’s concert marks MTSU’s 34th annual presentation of “Messiah,” in full or in part, for the community to enjoy.

Guest soloists are tenor H. Stephen Smith, an MTSU vocal music professor and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and baritone John Kramar, a voice professor at East Carolina University School of Music in Greenville, North Carolina.

Dr. Raphael Bundage, vocal performance professor, MTSU School of Music

Dr. Raphael Bundage

The concert also will include holiday-themed music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn.

The First Methodist Adult Choir is being conducted by Elliott Peterson. Dr. Raphael Bundage, a professor of vocal performance in MTSU’s School of Music and the Choral Society’s music director/conductor, is serving as conductor of the full production with assistance from student conductors Amanda Lufkin and Bryan Sanders.

“This year’s program is a little bit different, because in addition to our MTSU Chorale and the (Middle Tennessee) Choral Society, we’re adding the church’s choir, so it’s a wonderful connection to our community that’s been so kind to us,” says Bundage.

“It’s hard to express how much we appreciate this collaboration with them. We hope everyone who joins us really enjoys this performance.”

You can hear a preview of the groups’ work below, where the MTSU Schola Cantorum and Middle Tennessee Choral Society perform “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from “Messiah” at the 2017 concert at First Methodist.

For more information on this and other concerts in the MTSU School of Music, call 615-898-2493 or visit the  “Concert Calendar” link.

For details on joining the Middle Tennessee Choral Society, contact Bundage at or 615-898-2849.

— Gina E. Fann (