Director of Choral Activities and Artist-in-Residence
Not only has Director of Choral Activities Linda Tedford strengthened the on-campus choral program through her creation of the Chamber Singers and her direction of the Concert Choir, Choral Arts Society and Men’s Ensemble, she has also established an extraordinary repertoire of off-campus experiences for her students.
Tedford is a 20-year veteran at Messiah, and along with a vast range of experience teaching vocal and conducting lessons at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she also serves as a Messiah College artist-in-residence. Additionally, she is founder, conductor and artistic director of the Susquehanna Chorale, ensemble-in-residence at the College.
Combined, these positions help Tedford connect her students to unique learning and performance opportunities—this year, the Concert Choir traveled to Italy and performed at several venues, including the Vatican. Also, the choirs regularly set up in the College’s state-of-the-art professional performing hall to record full-length albums.
Choir members also have the chance to perform with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, something Tedford finds extremely valuable for her students.
Tedford’s longtime performance relationship with Stuart Malina, music director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, has led to dynamic opportunities for students. Last year, the Concert Choir and Choral Arts Society joined the Susquehanna Chorale and the orchestra in performances of Mendelsohn’s “Elijah.” This year, the same groups will come together again to perform Brahm’s “Requiem.”
“My own experience as a graduate student at Temple University gave me the opportunity to perform with the world-class Philadelphia Orchestra. It was absolutely incredible. I am grateful that I can offer that same opportunity to my own students,” says Tedford. “At Messiah, we place a strong emphasis on performance and experiential learning, so performing with a professional orchestra is a unique way for our students to learn beyond the classroom.”
The emphasis on performance, especially in opportunities like these, is one of the things that distinguishes Messiah’s music program says Tedford, and is what adds to her passion for music. “The relationship between a choral conductor and a choir is very unique. I am constantly surrounded by beautiful music, inspiring texts and people who love to sing.”