The Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation is pleased to announce the triumphant return of Handel’s Messiah at First United Methodist Church in downtown Van Wert on Sunday, December 12 at 7:00 pm (Doors open at 6:15 PM.) This Van Wert Live biennial event is a Van Wert tradition that dates to pre-WWII days. Admittance is free thanks to the financial support of The Saltzgaber Music Fund of The Van Wert County Foundation. In keeping with the tradition of Handel’s original performances, a free-will offering will be received with proceeds given to local food banks.

Paul Hoverman, First United Methodist Chancel Choir Director will be conducting his 14th Messiah performance. Professional lead vocalists are joined by The Van Wert Area Messiah Chorus, comprised of nearly 70 volunteer singers from Van Wert County, Delphos, Lima, Columbus, Fremont, IN, and Woodburn, IN (listed below.) They have been rehearsing each Sunday since November 7. A professional 15-piece chamber orchestra of musicians from throughout Ohio will accompany the performance along with harpsichord and pipe organ.

The Soprano soloist is Kelci Kosin from Chicago. Ms. Kosin holds a Doctor of Arts in voice performance with a secondary area of emphasis in musical theatre studies from Ball State University. She currently serves as the academic advisor for music at Columbia College Chicago and previously served as academic advisor and adjunct voice faculty for the School of Music at Ball State University. She also taught as adjunct voice faculty at Indiana Wesleyan University. A frequent performer of song, opera, and musical theatre, her performance credits are vast.

Mezzo-soprano, Kimberly Buczek currently lives in Cincinnati. She is an active soloist and music educator in the Cincinnati/Dayton area. She studied vocal performance and received her Doctorate and Master’s Degrees from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM) and her Bachelor’s Degree from Ithaca College. Dr. Buczek currently teaches voice in the Commercial Music Production and Music Education programs at CCM. She also teaches music history at Cincinnati State. She has also served as Adjunct Instructor of Voice at Wright State University and Wittenberg University.

Tenor, Rory Wallace lives in Muncie, Indiana, and has been praised for his natural stage presence, clear diction, and exceptional musicianship. He enjoys producing and performing in his own recitals in Washington D.C, United States, Port of Spain, and Arima, Trinidad and Tobago. Rory holds his Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University and is a Student Success Specialist with Online and Strategic Learning at Ball State University.

Baritone, Jon Truitt also lives in Muncie, Indiana. Dr. Truitt is the associate director for academic affairs in the School of Music at Ball State University in addition to being a director of opera and associate professor of voice. He has established a national presence as a stage director and operatic baritone in the United States, having directed over 30 professional productions alongside more than 30 in academia.

The Van Wert County Foundation, Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, and First United Methodist Church warmly welcome all to this Christmas performance of Handel’s Messiah. Enjoy the acoustic splendor of the stately and beautifully decorated sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. FUMC is located at 113 W. Central Ave. in downtown Van Wert, just across from Fountain Park. The church has public entrances on Central Avenue and Jefferson Street and has elevator access for those with needs. You are invited to arrive early and visit the beautifully decorated Fountain Park. 

Messiah Orchestra
Violin I: Michael Houff- Concert Master, Cecelia Johnson, Michael Sieberg / Violin II: Sara Longbrake, Bethany Maltinsky / Viola: Carmen Granger, Maureen Case / Cello: Alan Smith / Bass: Rod Sroufe / Oboe: Joe Basil, Crystal Gillaspy / Bassoon: Susan Brubaker / Trumpet: Eric Rodriguez, Tim Hoverman / Timpani: Robert Sloan / Harpsichord: Annette Hoverman / Organ: Scott Turner.

Messiah Chorus Members
Soprano: Karen Baldau, Sheila Chilcote-Collin, Olivia Co, Rachael Dettro, Mary Ann Falk, Deb Germann, Danille Hancock, Arlene Hurless, Rhonda Johnson, Mia Keirns, Claire Keysor, Paula LaRue, Bethany Martinez, Elizabeth Runyon, Denise Scheiderer, Sue Steinen, LeAnn Stoller, and Elisha Wey.

Alto: Ann Marie Alderman, Martha Balyeat, Linda Baum, Kristen Brenneman, Ruth Brickner, Beth Conn, Ann Cox, Dee Densel, Mary Fallis, Mandy Fifer, Carol Gehres, Rachel Gehrlich, Sarah Hostetler, Shirley Jarvis, Leah Keysor, Julie Lang, Jodie Lichtenberger, Jane Oechsle, Kay Okuley, Beverlee Profit, Serena Renner, Kristin Savage, Luanne Watson, Kathy Welker, Kristina Welker, Gloria Wendel, and Jody Wilson.

Tenor: Matt Alessandrini, Seth Baker, Jim Covey, Joe Falk, Dewey Fuerst, John Gamble, Christopher G. Golliver, Roger Okuley, Rod Stoller, Jonathan Wey, and Jake Wilder.

Bass: Warren Bowery, Terry Fox, Michael Germann, Jacob Hoverman, Eric Hurless, Mel Hurless, Chad Williams, Brent Jones, Sam Lang, Adam Ries, Ronald Shell, and Larry Taylor.

Support personnel
Sound: Ron Allison / Video: Dave Thompson / Harpsichord Tuner: Michael Coplin / Rehearsal Pianists: Scott Turner, Gloria Wendel.

More information can be found at or by contacting the Van Wert Live Box Office Tue-Thu, Noon -4PM, Fri, Noon - 6PM. This is a non-ticketed event and seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.