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ACTU to present Handel’s ‘Messiah’ Dec. 3

At 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, Arts for the Community at Thomas University will present Handel’s “Messiah” featuring the Thomasville Singers with chamber orchestra and soloists under the direction of Nicole Davis. The performance will be held in the sanctuary of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church, located at 216 W. Remington Ave. in Thomasville. 

“This performance will feature Part I of ‘Messiah,’ which focuses on the Nativity of our Lord, and is a perfect way to start the Advent season,” Davis said. “We are also very excited to have these wonderful soloists and students from Thomas County Central High School, Thomasville High School, and the Music and Drama Troupe joining us for the Hallelujah chorus.”

The soloists represent the regional music scene well. Carla Connors will sing soprano, and Tabitha Peck will sing alto. Chuck Chandler will perform as tenor and André Peele as bass.

Connors has been acclaimed as “one of the best young sopranos of this decade” by the Detroit Free Press, and “a fresh, steady lyric soprano” by the New York Times. She has made her mark in opera, with symphony, and in recital. Connors has performed as a soloist with many symphony orchestras and in recitals throughout the U.S. and on tours of Australia and Europe. Connors maintains an active schedule of orchestra and recital appearances and is engaged extensively as an oratorio artist and vocal teacher.

Peck is Director of Choral Activities at Leon High School in Tallahassee and is currently in her 16th year there. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music Education from the Florida State University College of Music. At Leon High School, Peck teaches Freshman Girls Chorus, Concert Chorale, Melodears, Advanced Placement Music Theory, Musical Theatre and Technical Theatre. She is an active adjudicator and soloist. Peck has presented sessions at the Florida Music Educators Association State Conference on AP Music Theory and on pop a cappella ensembles.

Chandler is Director of Undergraduate Vocal Pedagogy and Assistant Professor of Voice at the College of Music at Florida State University. He is a frequent, highly sought after performer and master clinician around the U.S., and is active in opera, oratorio, and recital work. Chandler’s students have won numerous competitions and are actively performing at companies around the U.S. Chandler received an undergraduate degree in vocal performance from Florida State University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky.

André Peele is a North Carolina native and graduate of Florida State University’s College of Music. He has been seen in many of FSU opera’s productions and has worked with a number of professional opera companies and as a soloist. He has also performed in recent musical productions of the Quincy Music Theatre as Judge Turpin in Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” Beast in the musical “Beauty and the Beast” as well as Juan Peron in Theatre Tallahassee’s production of “Evita.” When he is not on the stage or teaching, Peele is an active headshot and stage photographer.

“The chamber choir and orchestra performing the first part of ‘Messiah’ and concluding with the famous Hallelujah chorus with the extra student voices joining in will be a great way to start the Christmas season,” said ACTU coordinator and Thomas University Professor of Music Karl Barton. “I can’t think of a better way to reflect on the Nativity and invite everyone to unite with us in this great, musical testament.”

Admission for the general public is $10, and free for students. A reception will follow the performance. For additional information call 229-227-6964 or email



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