Featured Artists

The Messiah Festival is thrilled to welcome …


Bethany College is proud to announce accomplished musician Brandon Draper, ’01, will be the special guest star in the Palm Sunday weekend performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, as part of the 2015 Messiah Festival of the Arts. <

Draper headshot 2015   Draper headshot (2) 2014
Draper will be reprising his role of “Jesus” in the production, which he originally played while a student at Bethany in 2001.
Since moving to Kansas City in 2006, Brandon Draper has quickly become one of the most sought after musicians in the U.S. In addition to freelancing and teaching, he currently performs on percussion and drum set with Particle and Alaturka. He plays guitar with his father in The Draper Family Band and he runs a children’s interactive music show called Drum Safari with his wife of 14 years Teryn.
Draper has performed at many festivals, universities, concert halls, and conventions in the U.S. His extensive resume includes performances with both the New Mexico and Santa Fe Symphony Orchestras and the Kansas City Symphony. In contemporary and jazz settings, Draper has performed and/or recorded with Ottmar Liebert, DJ Logic, Donna Summer, Mose Allison, Steve Coleman, Dick Oatts, Mike Moreno, Bobby Watson, and Kevin Hays. Most recently he has been touring the US with Particle and working on a new album due out this fall. In past years he performed in the critically acclaimed world premiere of the new hiphop musical Venice in Los Angeles Fall 2010, and premiered his original work “Bass Darabukas” with Quixotic and the Kansas City Symphony in Spring of 2011.
As an educator, Draper has taught at the University of New Mexico, University of Missouri Kansas City, East Mountain High School, multiple high schools throughout the Midwest and Southwest as a clinician and as world and marching percussion consultant. He has led master-classes at the Percussive Arts Society Day of Percussion in Kansas, Nebraska, and New Mexico, and performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. He has also led workshops at Music Educators Association conferences in New Mexico, Kansas, and Missouri.
Currently Draper is on music faculty at the University of Kansas, percussion director at Shawnee Mission West High School, and music director at Kansas City Academy. He holds a Bachelors degree in percussion performance from Bethany College and a Masters of Music with distinction from the University of New Mexico.

Tyler Johnson, “Judas”

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Tyler Johnson ’05 began his love for singing and performance at an early age.  At age 9 he participated in Broadway RFD’s Children’s production of Robin Hood.  He has remained very involved with Lindsborg’s theatre troupe, Broadway RFD, over the years.  Some of his favorite roles include Joey in The Most Happy Fella, Lancelot in Camelot, Lt. Cable in South Pacific, Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees,  Able Franke in State Fair, Marc in Art, Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun, Snoopy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Oscar in The Odd Couple, and Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance.    While attending Bethany College as a Chemistry major, Tyler sang 4 years in the Bethany College Choir and Chamber Choir.  As an active participant in the college theatre program, his favorite roles include The Balladeer in Assassins,  and El Gallo in The Fantasticks.    Tyler currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Broadway RFD, assistant directs Lindsborg’s Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration, participates in the Smoky Valley Men’s Chorus in which he has been a featured soloist, participated for 10 years in the Bethany College Oratorio Society and sings high tenor for the Salemsborg Lutheran Gospel Quartet. Tyler is also a founding member of The Next Stage Theatre Company.  Currently, Tyler works at Hospira, Inc. in McPherson KS as a Process Validation Section Manager where he began his career as a laboratory Chemist in 2004.  He resides in Lindsborg with wife, Molly Johnson ‘06, and sons, Brik and Soren.


Chelsey L. Moore, “Mary Magdalene”

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Chelsey Moore, a recent theatre graduate of Sterling College, is delighted to be a part of Lindsborg’s Jesus Christ Superstar. She recently was in The Forum’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Joanna) and A Christmas Carol (Belle). Some favorite credits from Sterling include Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre, Disciple from Godspell, and Amanda Wingfield from The Glass Menagerie. Special thanks to her professors Matt Winning and Mark Clark as well as her friends and family for their continued support and encouragement. Psalms 139: 23-24.


 2015 Bach & Messiah Guest Soloists

 Tamara Hardesty, soprano

Sponsored by First Bank Kansas

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Tamara Hardesty, soprano, is described by noted New York Times music critic James R. Oestreich as “…a particular joy, singing with a clear, agile soprano and spinning out the coloratura with ease.” In addition, Andrew Porter wrote in the New Yorker magazine that Hardesty “…gave pleasure in many gentle, fluent, well-shaped passages.”   Hardesty has sung lead operatic roles with such opera companies as Connecticut Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola program and Western Opera Theater Tours, Whitewater Opera in Indiana, Sorg Opera in Ohio, Lake George Opera in New York, Sarasota Opera in Florida, and L’Opera Francais de New York, Dicapo Opera, and Bronx Opera in New York City. She made her Kennedy Center debut performing the soprano solo in the Monteverdi Vespers with the Washington Chorus. She has also been a featured soloist in oratorios and concerts with the Westchester Oratorio Society in New York, the St. Joseph Symphony in Missouri, the Oskaloosa Symphony Orchestra and the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra in Iowa, and the Haddonfield Symphony Orchestra in New Jersey.  Hardesty has given lieder recitals in New York City at Steinway Hall, Klavierhaus, St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Chapel, and in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Hardesty is active in singing at events benefiting and memorializing victims of the September 11th tragedy and the 2011 tsunami in Japan.   Hardesty is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Valdosta State University. In addition to private voice lessons, she teaches Diction for Singers and is the Assistant Director for Opera Studio. Her performances with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra include the soprano solos in Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate,” Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Mozart’s “Great” Mass, Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, Haydn’s “Creation,” and Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” She also sings faculty recitals and various events in the region.  Hardesty previously served on the voice faculty at New York University’s Steinhardt School Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions and at the University of Connecticut Department of Dramatic Arts and Community School of the Arts.  Hardesty earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music, her Master’s degree from Curtis Institute of Music, and her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Connecticut. While singing, teaching and directing in the South Georgia region, Dr. Tamara Hardesty maintains a private studio and frequently travels to New York to attend seminars and perform.



Cherry Duke, mezzo

Sponsored by Swedish Country Inn


A regular performer of concert, opera, and new music, Cherry Duke recently appeared as the Captain in the world premiere of Little and Vavrek’s Dog Days with Peak Performances, and reprises the role during the 2014-2015 Season for her debuts with Fort Worth Opera and Los Angeles Opera. The 2014-2015 Season also features a return to Winter Opera St. Louis as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro.  Cherry Duke’s other recent operatic performances include Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri with the Opera Company of Middlebury, the Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Opera Tampa, Siébel in Faust with Winter Opera St Louis, Mrs. Segstrom in A Little Night Music with Indiana Repertory Theatre, and as a soloist at the OPERA America New Works Sampler. Additionally, she has appeared in concert with Missouri Symphony Society and Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.  On the opera stage Cherry Duke has appeared in such roles as the title role in Carmen, Nerone in The Coronation of Poppea, Jo March in Little Women, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. As a soloist in several seasons of New York City Opera’s VOX concerts, she has sung a variety of cross-genre works, including scenes from Scott Davenport Richards’ jazz-infused opera Charlie Crosses the Nation; Don Davis’s salsa-inspired Rio de Sangre; and Gordon Beeferman’s microtonal Ratland. With Center for Contemporary Opera, she performed Dellaria’s The Secret Agent, in New York, France and Hungary. At Bard’s SummerScape Festival and Joe’s Pub she was featured in Carl Hancock Rux and Diedre Murray’s “cabaret opera,” The Blackamoor Angel.  As an orchestral concert soloist, she has performed at major venues such as Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, and has been a featured soloist in such repertoire as Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Bach’s Mass in B-minor, both Passions (St. John and St. Matthew) and Christmas Oratorio, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Symphony No. 9, Duruflé’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Grand Mass in C, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Vaughan-Williams’ Magnificat and Hodie, several Haydn masses and Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio. She is delighted to be returning to Messiah Festival of the Arts, where, in addition to singing the alto solos in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Passion According to St. Matthew, she performed in the world premiere of A Spiritual Messiah.


Tyler Ray, tenor

Sponsored by The Associated Churches of Lindsborg (T.A.C.O.L)

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Specializing in early music, art song, oratorio, and chamber singing, Tyler Ray is quickly establishing himself as a sought-after tenor soloist and professional chorister.
Solo engagements for the 2014/2015 season include Zelenka’s Missa Dei Patris with Julliard415 under the baton of Masaaki Suzuki, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and Beethoven’s Mass in C major conducted by David Hill, Charpentier’s Te Deum under the direction of Simon Carrington, Handel’s Messiah with the Yale Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht, BWV 186a with the Yale Recital Chorus and international engagements in the UK and France with Yale Schola Cantorum and David Hill.  Past engagements include Bach’s Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131 with the Wichita State University Concert Chorale and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb with the Wichita Chamber Chorale.   An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Tyler has been featured in recitals and masterclasses with Nic McGegan and Hilary Summers, and is a member of several professional ensembles, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Wichita Chamber Chorale, Ad Astra Singers, Earthly Sound Vocal Ensemble, and Conspirare.  A native of Wichita, KS, Tyler holds a B.A. in Music from Friends University and is currently pursuing a M.M. in Early Music Voice at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He performs regularly with Yale Schola Cantorum under the direction of principle conductor David Hill, and is a member of the Yale Voxtet under the guidance of renowned tenor James Taylor.




Leslie John Flanagan, bass

Sponsored by Scotts Hometown Foods

Les Flanagan at Wigmore Hall

Australian baritone Leslie John Flanagan has performed leading roles throughout Australia, Europe and the USA, including performances at the Sydney Opera House, in London at English National Opera’s Coliseum, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Janacek Theatre in Brno and at the Edinburgh Festival. Recent operatic performances include Mitrovsky in the première of Twice Upon a Birthday for The Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) with Southern Plains Opera. Dr. Flanagan earned the bachelor’s degree in music from the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia, and the master’s degree in opera performance from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Music) in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon completion of his master’s studies, he became an inaugural member of English National Opera’s prestigious Jerwood Young Singer’s Programme in London.   Roles with English National Opera, included Rossini’s Figaro, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte, Schaunard La Boheme, Morales Carmen, Barney in the world première of Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie alongside Gerald Finley, Donner Das Rheingold, and Ned Keene Peter Grimes. Other credits included Guglielmo in Paris, Escamillo Carmen for the Longbourough Festival Opera, Silvio Pagliacci for Haddo House Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni (Edinburgh Festival), Smirnov The Bear, and Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Papageno The Magic Flute in Australia and Carmen and Dead Man Walking with the Fort Worth Opera. Dr. Flanagan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Australian Singing Competition’s RSAMD Award, the Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Scholarship, the Texaco International Opera Prize, the Shreveport Singer of the Year Competition Delbert Chumley Award, and the Benton-Schmidt Competition; he was a Semi-Finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Quarter-Finalist in the Montreal International Singing Competition and the audience prizewinner and first runner-up in the Birmingham Opera Competition.   Concert engagements include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the International Messiah Festival, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Canterbury Choral Society and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Carmina Burana with Sir David Willcocks at the Royal Albert Hall, London, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem at the Bratislava and Brno International Music Festivals, a concert performance of Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the BBC Proms, and a recital of German Lieder with pianist Wolfram Rieger at London’s Wigmore Hall. He has worked with many of opera’s and classical music’s leading conductors, accompanists and directors, including Sir Charles Mackerras, Edward Gardner, Paul Daniel OBE, David Parry OBE, Graham Johnson, Sir Jonathan Miller, Keith Warner, Deborah Warner, David Freeman and Spanish director Calixto Bieto.   Dr. Flanagan’s professional recording credits include the First Apprentice on Chandos’ recording of Wozzeck, Barney in ENO’S live world premier recording of The Silver Tassie, also available on DVD from the BBC, Bach’s St. John Passion with the BBC, and on Roger Webster’s Travels with my Trumpet with English soprano Janis Kelly.


Michael Hanawalt, Bach “Evangelist”

Sponsored by the Salina Community Foundation

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Michael Hanawalt is Director of Choral Activities at Wichita State University, where he conducts the Concert Chorale, the Women’s Glee Club, and teaches courses in conducting and choral literature. Dr. Hanawalt also serves as Chorus Director for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Director of Music at University Congregational Church in Wichita. Prior to his appointment at Wichita State, Dr. Hanawalt was Visiting Instructor in Music at St. Olaf College, where he conducted the Chapel Choir and the Viking Chorus.
Dr. Hanawalt is a founding member of the professional male vocal ensemble Cantus, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Throughout his eleven-year tenure with the organization, he recorded twelve CDs, participated in 200 educational outreach events, and performed in or oversaw the booking of over 500 concerts, including collaborations with the King’s Singers, the Boston Pops, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He also served for six years as Cantus’ Executive Director, overseeing its growth through organizational management, fundraising, and board development.
Active as a tenor soloist, Dr. Hanawalt is the winner of competitions held by the Schubert Club in Minneapolis, MN, Thursday Musical in St. Paul, MN, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing in Collegeville, MN. Recent past engagements include the Evangelist in J. S. Bach’s Weinachts-Oratorium with the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir, as well as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Wichita Choral Society and Mozart’s Requiem with Tarleton State University choirs and orchestra. Upcoming engagements include the Evangelist in J. S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion with the Bethany College choirs and orchestra.
Dr. Hanawalt’s choral arrangements are published by Boosey & Hawkes, Colla Voce, and the Niel. A Kjos Music Company. His setting of “Amazing Grace” was premiered by the Michigan State University Women’s Chamber Ensemble at the National Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association in 2009. His arrangement of “Loch Lomond” is featured on the Cantus recording, Let Your Voice Be Heard, and was recently performed by the Florida All-State Men’s Chorus.
Dr. Hanawalt holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from St. Olaf College, an M.M. in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Choral Music Education from The Florida State University.


Andrew Wannigman, Bach Baritone

Sponsored by Harold & Linda Tegethoff

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Andrew Wannigman has been hailed for his “beautiful singing” and “strong musical sense”, performing more than 30 operatic roles in his young career.  He was most recently seen as Escamillo in Carmen at the University of Oklahoma where he studies with renowned baritone Kim Josephson. This past year he was seen as Sciarrone in Tosca with Mill City Summer Opera where he also covered the role of Angelotti, Maximilian in Candide with Skylark Opera, and Morales in Carmen with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.  Other operatic roles include: Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro, Papageno The Magic Flute, Marcello La Boheme, Dr. Malatesta Don Pasquale, John Buchanan, Jr. Summer & Smoke, and Ford The Merry Wives of Windsor.  Mr. Wannigman has worked with many companies throughout the United States as both a young artist and principle artist since graduating with his master’s degree from New England Conservatory in 2009.  These companies include Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Opera New Jersey, Opera North, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, American Lyric Theater, Mill City Summer Opera and Boston Opera Collaborative.  An avid recitalist and concert performer, he was most recently seen as the baritone soloist in The Seven Last Words of Christ by Théodore Dubois with Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City where later this year he will also perform Mozart’s Requiem.  Other concert works include Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C, and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs.  Mr. Wannigman is currently working on his doctoral degree from the University of Oklahoma.  He is also a graduate from New England Conservatory and Luther College.


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