Waukesha Choral Union to present free concert of Handel’s “Messiah”

Waukesha Choral Union will present a free concert of Handel’s “Messiah” on March 25, 2012 at 3:00pm in Shattuck Auditorium. Ernest Brusubardis, III, conducts choir including volunteer community singers, orchestra, and soloists.
Waukesha Choral Union presents Handel's Messiah
Waukesha Choral Union presents Handel's Messiah
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March 12, 2012 - PRLog -- Waukesha, Wis. – The Waukesha Choral Union will present George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” as a free gift to the community on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in Shattuck Auditorium on the Carroll University campus.  Artistic director Ernest “Ernie” Brusubardis, III will conduct this performance comprised of choir, orchestra, and soloists.  The choir is made up of Waukesha Choral Union members and volunteer community singers. Soloists for the Waukesha Choral Union production are: Kristin Wrolstad, Soprano; Jillian Bruss, Alto; Mark Craig, Tenor; and Thomas J. Weis, Bass.

Waukesha Choral Union has been performing Handel’s “Messiah” or Haydn’s “Creation” as a free concert annually for over three decades.  This longstanding tradition is funded by area businesses, foundations, and benefactors as well as through generous donations from patrons.  A silent auction of donated merchandise and services will also be held in conjunction with the concert.  Brusubardis is “Delighted that all facets of the greater Waukesha community come together to create, perform, experience, and enjoy.”  

Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most popular works in the Western choral literature. The libretto by Charles Jennens is drawn entirely from the King James and Great Bibles, and interprets the Christian doctrine of the Messiah. Composed in London during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin, Ireland on 13 April 1742, it was repeatedly revised by Handel, reaching its most familiar version in the performance to benefit the Foundling Hospital in 1754. The work is divided into three parts, which address specific events in the life of Christ. Part One is primarily concerned with the Advent and Christmas stories. Part Two chronicles Christ's passion, resurrection, ascension, and the proclamation to the world of the Christian message. Part Three is based primarily upon the events chronicled in the Book of Revelation.

Community singers interested in joining the performance must attend three rehearsals:
•   Sunday, March 18, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Shattuck Auditorium, Carroll University.
•   Tuesday, March 20, 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church.
•   Saturday, March 24, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Shattuck Auditorium, Carroll University.
Music will be provided.  To sing “Messiah” with Waukesha Choral Union contact the membership chairperson by e-mail at membership@choralunion.org  or call 414-297-9310. Shattuck Auditorium is located at 100 North E. Ave., Waukesha. Christ the Servant Lutheran Church is located at 2016 Center Road, Waukesha.

One concert remains in the Waukesha Choral Union’s 2011 – 2012 “Heaven and Nature Sing” season:
•   Saturday, May 5, 2012, “Awakening and Renewal” at St. William Parish
For more information, visit http://www.ChoralUnion.org.

Ernest Brusubardis, III, artistic director of the Waukesha Choral Union, is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee with the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Music and the Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis on choral conducting. His other choral directorships include the advanced ensembles of Hartford Union High School and the Brusubardis-Dzimtene Latvian Choir.  He also serves as music director for many community theater productions throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

Kristin Wrolstad, soprano of Watertown, WI, is now in her tenth season with the Florentine Opera Company Chorus.  While there, she has appeared as a Handmaiden in “Turandot,” Aunt in “Madama Butterfly,” Sylviane in “The Merry Widow,” and the third Apparition in “Macbeth.”  She also has performed in a variety of Florentine’s educational and outreach programs. Concert appearances include the French National Anthem with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate with the UW Milwaukee orchestra.  Kristin has been a Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, Iowa District winner, along with being a Civic Music Association Recital Winner.  In addition, she has a private voice and piano studio in Watertown.  Kristin has enjoyed singing Handel’s “Messiah” with the Waukesha Choral Union once before.

Jillian Bruss, alto, resides in the Milwaukee area and has performed both here and abroad in concert, opera and oratorio.  She has performed with the Florentine Opera in both main stage and outreach programs, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, Dallas Opera, Milwaukee Choral Artists, Milwaukee Youth Symphony, Waukesha Choral Union, MasterSingers, Bel Canto Chorus, Milwaukee Choristers and Lutheran Acapella.  Jillian has performed in Norway and Denmark, countries of her grandfathers, with Paula Foley Tillen.  She recorded a CD of the recital featuring a premiere commissioned work of Paula’s for the concert tour.  Jillian is now the Development Manager of the Florentine Opera.  She was General Manager of the Milwaukee Opera Theatre from 2005-2011.  She has conducted the women’s ensemble Women of Note and enjoys coaching young singers privately and at UW-Parkside.  Jillian is a graduate of UW-Stevens Point in Music Education and of the University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana with a Masters degree in Vocal Performance.

Mark Craig, tenor, originally comes from Michigan where he graduated from the University of Michigan with his Bachelor's of Music.  He went on to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and graduated with his Masters of Opera Performance.  As a member of Opera for the Young based in Madison, Mark has performed four different roles and is currently touring as The Witch in “Hansel & Gretel” throughout the Midwest.  He also took part in the recent Florentine Opera production of “Turandot.”  Mark was a member of the Sarasota Opera Company for numerous years in Florida, performing in many operas and various scenes and outreach programs as well.  While singing with the Anchorage Opera Studio Program in Alaska, Mark performed the role of Nemorino in “Elixir of Love,” Hermosa in Offenbach's, “Isle of Tulipitan,” and Ivan in Wargo's, “The Music Shop.”  Some of his other favorite roles include, Count Almaviva in “Barber of Seville,” Albert in “Albert Herring, and Frerick in “Pirates of Penzance.”  Mark currently resides in Chicago.

Thomas J. Weis, lyric bass, is an active soloist who has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Menomonee Falls Symphony, Beloit/Janesville Symphony, Milwaukee Youth Symphony, Oshkosh Chorale, Waukesha Choral Union, Arizona Opera, Skylight Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera for the Young, and many area high school programs.  Most recently, Thomas performed the role of Dr. Bartolo in Skylight Opera Theatre’s production of “The Marriage of Figaro.”  Weis’ versatility includes Musical Theater as well, featuring him as Harold Hill in 2002 and Petruchio/Fred Gramm in 2003 with the Heartland Festival in Platteville, Wisconsin.  He has been privileged to be a voice faculty member at Carroll University since 1999.  Thomas also maintains an active private voice studio at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music and Hartland Music Center in Hartland, WI.

The Waukesha Choral Union has been musically active in the community for over 60 years. It presents four concerts each season between October and May. WCU was featured in WISN-TV’s “Season to Celebrate” broadcast during Christmas of 2011. Originally a combination of the Carroll College student chorus and community singers named Waukesha Choral Society in 1949, the group became the Town and Gown in 1961 and the Waukesha Choral Union in 1974, taking its present form as an auditioned choir in 1978. Recent collaborative partners include the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Choristers, Carroll University Choirs, Waukesha South High School A Cappella Choir, Muskego High School Chorale and Chamber Choir, and the Hartford Union High School Concert Choir. For more information visit http://www.choralunion.org.

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The Waukesha Choral Union, an auditioned community choir, continues a long tradition of collaborating with other musicians and groups, putting together pieces of the very colorful and diverse arts community in which we live for over 60 years.
Source:Jim LaBelle
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