Press Release 2023

From: Michigan City Messiah
Contact: Nic Orbovich,
(219) 561-1939

Date: November 13, 2023


The Michigan City Messiah is proud to announce its annual performance dates! G.F. Handel’s timeless masterpiece will be presented on December 16, 7:00 p.m., and December 17, 3:00 p.m., at the Holdcraft Performing Arts Center, 1200 Spring Street, Michigan City, IN. As always, the concerts are free and require no advance ticket reservations.


This will be the 59th presentation of “The Messiah,” first organized and conducted by Daniel J. McNabb, who still sings in the chorus. Dan has announced that this will be his final year singing the Messiah, so the MC Messiah wants to make this a very special set of concerts as a very special way to thank Dan McNabb for his selfless gift to our community.


Messiah, premiered in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742, and was immediately accepted as the most popular piece of music ever written; a distinction it still holds today!  A large-scale semi-dramatic work for chorus, soloists, and orchestra, it is the source of the beloved “Hallelujah Chorus.” Messiah is by far the most cherished of all oratorios!

The presentations will feature a full Baroque orchestra conducted by Philip J. Bauman and four world-class. We are also thrilled to announce the return of our beloved soloists, Kimberly Jones, soprano; Kristen Gornstein, mezzo-soprano; Matthew Daniel, tenor; and Bill McMurray, bass-baritone.

Music Director Philip J. Bauman enters his 9th year as Music Director of the Michigan City Messiah. In his commitment to mentoring young musicians, Maestro Bauman also is the Music Director of the South Holland Master Chorale. He recently stepped down from his position as Conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Youth Orchestra, concluding a 20-year tenure with the esteemed ensemble. With the Youth Orchestra, Maestro Bauman made his European conducting debut with performances in Austria and Germany in 2014. In 2018 he performed in Italy with the esteemed ensemble. During his successful 24-year tenure at the La Porte County Symphony, he was credited with significantly raising the orchestra’s artistic level and spearheading a resurgence in educational programming.

Maestro Bauman holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in music theory from Western Michigan University. Through his work with Chicago Opera Theater, The Opera Factory, da Corneto Opera, Light Opera Works and the Jarvis Conservatory, Mr. Bauman has gained a reputation as a highly respected conductor of the stage.

Phil made his home in the Chicago area for over 25 years and now resides in South Bend Indiana where he serves as Production Manager of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. He and his wife Lee enjoy family activities including motorcycling, cooking and road trips to see grandchildren. They enjoy exploring new adventures that nurture creativity and support the arts.


Kimberly Jones is an alum of the Ryan Center with Lyric Opera of Chicago.

She has recently received the 3arts grant, George London grant, Sullivan grant, and a Licia Albanese Encouragement grant. She has been nominated for the Richard Tucker grant, received three grants from the McAllister Awards competition, and was awarded the Richard Gold Career Grant from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She is a Union League Civic and Arts Foundation (now Luminarts) prize winner.

She has performed the Philip Glass Symphony #5 at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Germany, and with the Stuttgart and Danish Radio Symphonies in Germany and Copenhagen.

She is a recurring artist with the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival. With the South Bend Symphony, she performed in her first Britten War Requiem. She sang the soprano solos in her first Verdi Requiem with Chicago Community Chorus.

She debuted with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in an evening of Porgy and Bess excerpts and spirituals.

Other engagements included the title role of The Fairy Queen with Chicago Opera Theater, repeated with Long Beach Opera. Also with COT, Stewart Copeland’s Invention of Morel as Dora, Micaela in Carmen and Grace Alumond in Quamino’s Map. She performed in Lyric Opera’s Fire Shut up in my Bones.

In concert appearances, she sang with the Fox Valley Symphony, and the Fort Wayne Symphony.

She sang the roles of Tibrino/Amore in the Haymarket Opera production of L’Orontea, and Galatea in Acis and Galatea. Last summer she portrayed Angelica in an operatic video of Handels’ Orlando.

Miss Jones is on the voice faculty at Roosevelt University and DePaul University.

Praised as “a fine actress with a deep, spacious sound” [Parterre], American mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein brings her “rich-voiced mezzo-soprano” and “lines of an uncannily silky legato” [New York Times] to her work, ranging from the traditional to the edgy and imaginative. She was lauded for her recent portrayal of Piramo in Johan Hasse’s baroque gem Piramo e Tisbe with The Little Opera Theatre of New York, with Opera News calling her performance, “…masterful.  She sang the difficult role with a truly flawless lyric mezzo”. This fall she enjoyed her Lincoln Center debut in the role of Wang Sheng in the China Now Music Festival’s production of Painted Skin, and future performances include Mars in La Púrpura de la Rosa with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and the title role in Dido and Aeneas with Opera Fort Collins.

Kristin made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Spring of 2018, winning third place in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition.  She has joined Sacred Music in a Sacred Space as alto soloist for both Vivaldi’s Gloria and a program of Domenico Zipoli’s work titled Zipoli and his World, the New York Wind Symphony for de Meij’s 4th Symphony, Sinfonietta Riverdale as Bessie in Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, and the American University of Beirut as soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Kristin toured with Mark Morris Dance Company’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as an ensemble member, appeared at Lincoln Center with the New York Philharmonic for Honegger’s Jean D’Arc au Bûcher, and has made numerous appearances in recital at Caramoor. This year marks her ninth performance with the Michigan City Messiah as alto soloist.  She is very grateful to have the opportunity to come home each year to do so!

Matthew Daniel, tenor, has been described as “a tenor of steely power and robust tone” — The Denver Post. Over his twenty-five plus years of singing, he has had the privilege to perform Opera, Oratorio, Concerts, and in Recital. He has been a member of the Lyric Opera Chicago chorus since 2004.

His opera roles performed include Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Pedrillo in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, King Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Hoffmann in Tales of Hoffmann, The Duke in Rigoletto, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Rodolfo in La Boheme, Prinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana, and Canio in I Pagliacci. Opera companies Matthew has sung with include Indiana Opera North, Opera!Lenawee, Light Opera Works, Sarasota Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, Tulsa Opera, Harrisburg Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, and Lyric Opera Chicago.

Oratorios performed include Magnificat by J.S. Bach, Laud to the Nativity by Respighi, Messiah by Handel, Stabat Mater by Rossini, Ninth Symphony by Beethoven, Choral Fantasy by Beethoven, Coronation Mass by Mozart, and Requiem by Mozart. Matthew has also had the opportunity to perform two World Premieres. The song-cycle Moon River Anthology by Mason and an opera The Hard Years by Schwabe.

Along with his singing, Matthew teaches voice in his home studio in South Bend, Indiana, at Southwestern Michigan College, Dowagiac, MI, Penn High School, Mishawaka, IN, and at the School of American Music in Three Oaks, Michigan. Most recently he has added stage director to his resume, when he directed Die Fledermaus and L’elisir d’amore with South Bend Lyric Opera.

With more than forty operatic roles to his credit, baritone Bill McMurray has been described as “a baritone with warm, rich tones and superb stage presence” by the Durham Herald Sun. Such roles include Figaro” in Il Baribiere di Sivigila,“Count Almavivain Le nozze di Figaro and “Escamillo” in Carmen. Walter Marini of the New Buffalo Times is quoted as saying his portrayal of “Marcello” in Puccini’s La Boheme as “a powerful actor who brings great elegance to the role. His singing is as fine as anything being heard in major opera houses today.”

He has sung with noted companies like Florida Grand Opera, Opera North, Knoxville Opera, Skylight Music Theater, Opera Company of NC, Mobile Opera, Opera Carolina, Central City Opera and Opera on the James.

Recent engagements include his return to Chicago Opera Theater to perform the role of “Mr Gedge, the Vicar” in Albert Herring, his debut with Opera San Antonio as “Marullo” in Rigoletto, “Ibn Hakia” in Tchaikovsky’s Russian opera Iolanta, “The Father” in the Midwest premiere of Stefan Weisman’s opera The Scarlet Ibis, the Narrator in The Snowman with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Apollo Chorus. Other solo highlights include a Porgy and Bess concert, as well as performances of the Mozart Requiem with the Chicago Bar Association and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in his debut with South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

The 23-24 season will feature a return to Opera San Antonio to sing the “Pirate King” in Pirates of Penzance, Messiah performances with Michigan City and the Apollo Chorus, his debut with Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Illinois Philharmonic and the baritone soloist in the Bruckner Te Deum.

Equally successful on the concert stage, Bill has sung solos in sacred works such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He has also been the featured soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs and the Faure Requiem. He was the baritone soloist in Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time, conducted by Barbara Schubert with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other solo orchestral appearances include the New Philharmonic Orchestra, Elmhurst Orchestra and Choral Society, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Skokie Valley Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra and Waukegan Symphony. At the Ravinia Festival he was the bass soloist in the final movement of Haydn’s Creation, conducted by former Metropolitan Opera Music Director, James Levine. He is a previous first place winner of the National Association Teachers of Singing competition and was one of eight singers selected to the Winners Circle of The Classical Music Vocal Competition. In 2021 Bill received a Grammy award as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus for their work on the recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar.

Kim Jones

Kristin Gornstein

Kristin Gornstein

Matthew Daniel

Bill McMurray

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