John French Conducts Handel’s “Messiah” for 35th Year

Ursinus Music Professor John H. French will conduct The Messiah for the 35th straight year on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium. The Messiah, written by George Frideric Handel and sung by the College Choir and Meistersingers, has become a winter season tradition at Ursinus College. French, who came to Ursinus in 1979 and is holder of the Heefner Chair of Music, now surpasses predecessor William Phillips’ 34 years of conducting the piece.

Ursinus College Choir and Meistersingers

John French conducts the Ursinus College Choir and Meistersingers.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students with  ID. A new, easy reservation system is at or call the Box Office at 610-409-3030.

Dr. French, a member of the college faculty since 1979, has received the Laughlin Professional Achievement Award and Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in recognition of his professional and scholarly accomplishments. He is the associate conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. Active as a church musician for 40 years, he has been the organist-choirmaster for the Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia since 1992.

Dr. French has degrees from the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, Westminster Choir College and the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. In addition to other grants and awards, he has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. French is immediate past President of the Board of Directors of the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and currently serves as President of the Society’s Foundation. He is past President of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

Preview: December 2011, Ursinus College, Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus.


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