News from campus and beyond

FSO and Oratorio Chorus present Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Furman senior Tyrese Byrd is one of the soloists in Handel’s “Messiah.”

Last updated December 4, 2019

By Tina Underwood

The Furman Symphony Orchestra (FSO) and Oratorio Chorus will present Handel’s “Messiah” Friday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium on the Furman University campus.

The event is open to the public and is presented by the Furman Department of Music with support from the Nelle and Ken Brown Music Fund. Tickets for the Sound Quality Concert Series event are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students/youth.

Conducted by Furman Professor of Music Hugh Ferguson Floyd, Handel’s “Messiah” holds a unique position as a monument of Western civilization. 1742 marked the debut of “Messiah” in Dublin, Ireland. The oratorio later gained in popularity particularly in England and America, eventually becoming one of the best known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

The FSO, prepared by Furman Visiting Professor of Violin Andrew Carlson, and the Oratorio Chorus will present Parts I and II of “Messiah” in their entirety, culminating in the mighty “Hallelujah” chorus.

A biennial tradition at Furman, the performance of “Messiah” features 85 student vocalists and over 40 faculty and student instrumentalists. The masterwork showcases outstanding student soloists selected through competitive audition. Soloists include:

Tyrese Byrd ‘20, tenor
Shalick Smith ‘20, bass-baritone
Matthew Weir ‘22, baritone
Salleigh Harvey ‘22, mezzo-soprano
Ben Connelly ‘22, baritone
Ellen Chamblee ‘20, soprano
Quentin Prewitt ‘20, soprano
Abbie Schlictmann ‘20, mezzo-soprano
Katie Jennison ‘20, soprano
J. Alan Smith ’20, tenor
Matthew Gavilanez ‘21, tenor
Maggie Ramirez ‘20, soprano
Olivia Jennings ‘20, soprano
Kirby Burgess ‘20, soprano
John Potvin ‘22, baritone

For more information or for tickets, contact the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086, or email the department at Tickets are available at the door or may be ordered online at

Contact Us
Clinton Colmenares
Director of News and Media Strategy