Messiah - About

This classic work by George Frideric Handel traces the completed work of Jesus Christ, from the foretelling of His coming through His birth, life, death and resurrection. The entire work is Scripture, set vividly to music and sung by students who believe what they sing.

Join us for another historic performance! Tickets go on sale in October.

This year at Handel's Messiah, for the first time, we are pleased to offer a pre-concert lecture with Dr. Chester L. Alwes, professor and author of Handel’s Messiah: the Complete Solo Variants (Roger Dean Music, 2009). Admission is free but space is limited.

When and Where

Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 at 3:30 p.m.
Pre-concert lecture at 2:15 p.m. in Alumni Student Center

Moody Bible Institute
Torrey-Gray Auditorium
840 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL

Ticket Info 

Sep. 25–Nov. 2, 2017

To order tickets, call (312) 329-2399 or purchase online. Seating is assigned.


Limited free parking is available at the Moody parking garage (208 W. Institute Place, Chicago, IL 60610). The parking garage is open from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Please arrive 45 minutes early. If the garage is full, you will be directed to paid lots. For more information and pay-ahead parking options, see

Messiah - Performers


2017 Performers


Messiah - Xiangtang Hong


Xiangtang Hong is professor of music and director of the Moody Chorale. Born in Singapore, Xiangtang felt a passion for choral music when she heard a church choir sing during her early childhood years in America. She later earned a master’s in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College with support from the Singapore National Arts Council, followed by a DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2011 Xiangtang received Moody’s Patricia Finch Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. She enjoys sharing her love of music as a choral clinician and guest conductor, but her greatest joy is mentoring her students.



Wendy Harton Benner enjoys a richly varied artistic life as an orchestral, chamber, and solo violinist throughout Chicagoland and beyond. Her solo appearances include performances with the Bach Sinfonia, Baroque Band, the Metropolis Chamber Orchestra (Chicago), Columbia Orchestra (Maryland), and Glenelg Chamber Orchestra. For eight years, she served as concertmaster of the Bach Sinfonia, leading the ensemble's transition from modern to period instruments in live performances and recordings on the Dorian label.

Recently, she has served as guest concertmaster of the Elmhurst Symphony, Baroque Band, the Rockefeller Chapel Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Bach Collegium (Indiana) and the Canterbury Concerts (Dixon, Illinois). Highlights of her artistic life in Chicago include performing with Haymarket Opera Company, the Apollo Orchestra, and Chicago Opera Theater. She served as violin instructor and director of chamber music at Georgetown University and was Baroque strings coach at the University of Delaware. Wendy holds a doctorate in violin performance from the University of Maryland.



Professor of Music

Jori Jennings has been teaching music at Moody Bible Institute since 2005. She authored “Abuse It and Lose It,” in The Moody Handbook of Preaching. She enjoys vocal pedagogy and technology in the voice studio. Jori holds an MM from New Mexico State University, and a DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.



Alumni Soloist

Dominic German, a baritone, sings with several Chicago choral ensembles including Bella Voce, Music of the Baroque, Grant Park Symphony Chorus, and Constellation Men's Ensemble. He is a singer, choir director and voice teacher in Chicago Dominic, and also the Chancel Choir Director at North Park Covenant Church. Previously he served as the bass section leader and soloist at Trinity United Methodist in Wilmette. His operatic credits include the title role in Pasatieri's Signor Deluso and Il Re in Respighi's La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco. Most recently, he appeared as Achilla in the Oak Park Handel Week Festival's concert production of Giulio Cesare.

Dominic graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2013 with a BMus and later received his masters in music from North Park University.



Preconcert Lecturer

Dr. Chester Alwes founded and conducted the Musica Sacra Ensemble of Louisville, taught at the Eastman School of Music, and received the Julius Herford Outstanding Dissertation Prize from the American Choral Directors association. In 2011 he retired from the faculty of the University of Illinois School of Music after 29 years of teaching.

Alwes holds a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Messiah - Oratorio Chorus and Orchestra


The Oratorio Chorus is composed of undergraduate students and employees from Moody Bible Institute. The orchestra consists of student instrumentalists and professional musicians from the Chicagoland area.


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Messiah - History


George Frideric Handel’s oratorio, Messiah, was written in collaboration with Charles Jennens, who offered the Scripture texts to be woven into the choruses and solos that comprise the work. An oratorio is a combination of choruses and solos, a rendition of dramatic music and text, but presented in concert form without costumes or staging.

Messiah has three distinct parts: prophecy, passion and resurrection. The solos and choruses of each section reflect the emotions identified by listeners: anticipation and comfort, grief and pain, and hope and victory.

Written in a few weeks’ time, Messiah had its first performance in April 1742 in Dublin. It is fair to say that portions of this music have been performed in nearly all parts of the world. While Scripture bears truth whether in musical form or otherwise, the actual music has been a source of academic rigor and fulfillment for centuries of musicians.

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Messiah - Recordings

Recording: Excerpts from Messiah

This commemorative CD set captures the best live performances from our 65 years singing Handel’s Messiah. We believe what we are singing, and worship through it. It is our prayer that you would worship with us.

Selections on this CD are conducted by:

  • Gerald H. Edmonds (MMus, American Conservatory of Music); former conductor of Moody Concert Band and the Moody Chorale; professor of music, 1969–2010.
  • H. E. Singley, III (DMA, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary); conductor of Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir, professor of music, 1996–present.
  • Xiangtang Hong (DMA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); conductor of Moody Chorale, associate professor of music, 2006–present.

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Messiah - Excerpts CD

2014 Photos

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