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MSU students and community singers come together to perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’

Morehead State University students will collaborate with Rowan County community singers for a performance of George Frideric Handel's most famous oratorio "Messiah."   

The concert is at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5, at First Baptist Church on 123 East Main Street in Morehead. The show is co-sponsored by First Baptist Church and First Christian Church and presented free of charge.  

The performance will feature the Christmas portion of the oratorio and conclude with the famed chorus "Hallelujah," followed by "Worthy is the Lamb." The organist for the performance is MSU Staff Accompanist William Murphy (Class of 2009). Dr. Greg Detweiler, MSU director of choral studies and First Baptist Church choir director, is the conductor.   

The choir is comprised of community singers and MSU students. The soloists include Dr. Eric Brown, MSU assistant professor of music in voice; Dr. David Gregory, MSU dean of library sciences and minister of music at First Baptist Church; and Janessa Broadhurst (Class of 2019), Boyd County Middle School music teacher. MSU voice majors singing solos are Hannah Newman, a senior from West Union, Ohio; Sarah White-Jarman, a graduate student from Lexington; Emily McCreary, a sophomore from Catlettsburg; Summer Lighthall, a junior from Burlington; Katie Webb, a junior from Mt. Sterling; Britney Hopkins, a junior from Pikeville; and Anna-Wray Grayson, a senior from Louisa. Adrian Jacob (Class of 2011), a Kentucky attorney and First Baptist Church organist, will begin the Christmas story with the recitative "Comfort Ye" followed by the aria "Every Valley."  

The rehearsal accompanist is Genny Jenkins (Class of 1998 and 2005), minister of music at First Christian Church and the gifted coordinator and instructor for Rowan County Schools, who Detweiler said is "the one person who has held the choir together which no one will see in the performance."  

"We are so very grateful for her contributions to the group. There would be no choir without her help," Detweiler said.  

Detweiler said this bi-annual holiday performance tradition is one he and the performers from both the campus and local community are glad to have back.  

"We started this choir many years ago to join the community and the campus," he said. "Each year, the group works on a Christmas presentation. 'Messiah' is usually presented once every two years. We were very excited to start anew after a year of waiting through the pandemic."  

For more information on the concert, email Detweiler at or call 606-783-2480.       

To learn more about music programs at MSU, visit