BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Choir will present Handel’s Messiah at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeling on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m.

The College Choir and guest soloists will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra under the direction of guest conductor Denis Mastromonaco, Music Director for the Toronto Italian Operetta. The performance has its roots in the long-standing tradition of Messiah performances during the tenure of Dr. George Hauptfuehrer as choral director at Bethany College.

The concert is again being coordinated by Bethany College Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Choir David J. Rudari. The Choir will include students from the Bethany College Choir, faculty members and alumni, along with other members of the College community.

Rudari said returning to St. Joseph Cathedral for a second straight year was an easy decision. “The Cathedral is incredible as a concert venue,” Rudari said. “The sight lines and the acoustics made for an exciting performance and a stunning visual presentation.”

There will be a pre-concert talk on Messiah by the Very Rev. Kevin M. Quirk, JCD, Rector of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The talk, set for 2:30 p.m., is part of the “Rites and Rituals of the Season” series sponsored by Bethany College’s Center for Spirituality, Ethics and Global Awareness.

The soprano soloist is Barbara Kilduff, a coloratura soprano who has enjoyed a career on both the American and European stages in opera, oratorio and song. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1987 and has performed with the Bavarian State Opera, the Vienna Opera and the New York Philharmonic. Kilduff holds a Master of Music Degree from Yale University, where she was a student of Doris Yarrick Cross and Tito Capobianco, Director Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Opera.

Laurie Tramuta is the mezzo-soprano soloist. She has performed a variety of operatic roles with the Western New York Opera Theater, the Greater Buffalo Opera, the Erie Opera Theater, the Fredonia Hillman Opera and Opera Sacra. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Players and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Tramuta has served as an adjunct member of the Voice Faculty at SUNY-Fredonia for the past 13 years and is active as a guest conductor throughout western New York.

The tenor soloist is John Tiranno, a native of Buffalo, N.Y. who received his Master of Music degree from West Virginia University. Tiranno has performed nationally with the Sarasota Opera, the New York Grand Opera, Opera Colorado, the Lake George Opera, the Ash Lawn Opera Festival and Opera in the Heights. He made his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center debuts in 2006 and has appeared as a soloist with The Discovery Orchestra (formerly the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey), the Boulder Philharmonic and the New England Symphonic Ensemble.

Rudari is the baritone soloist for the event. He is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at West Virginia University, where he directed the WVU Community Arts Orchestra for four years and the Mountaineer Singers for two years. He has a number of operatic, concert and musical theatre roles to his credit and has performed with orchestras and choruses in Maryland, Montana, New York, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming. Rudari is well known in the community for his rendition of the National Anthem. In 2005 and 2007, he represented Bethany College with performances of the National Anthem and God Bless America at Pittsburgh Pirates games in PNC Park.

Mastromonaco is active in both the symphonic and operatic genres. He has served as Associate Conductor for York Symphony Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra and as Assistant Conductor for Royal Opera Canada and Opera Mississauga. He has conducted various ensembles abroad, including the Camerata Strumetale di Prato, National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Vidin State Philharmonic. He holds a Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the State University of New York and holds diplomas in conducting from the Wiener Meisterkurze of the Vienna Conservatory and the University of Salzburg’s Mozarteum Sommerakademie.

All tickets for the concert are general admission and will be $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Judy Marshall at (304) 829-7411 or send an e-mail to