Sunday, December 20, 2020, 2:00pm

(available on demand through January 3, 2021)




Below you’ll find the program selections for this year, PDF’s of the Chorus and the Full Vocal score for those who want to follow along with the soloists. When combined you are guaranteed to enjoy this years DIY Messiah!

Program to include:

#1 Overture 

#4 And the Glory of the Lord – CHORUS

#5 Thus Saith the Lord – bass and piano

#6 But Who May Abide – bass and piano

#15 And the Angel Said – soprano and piano

#16 And Suddenly – soprano and piano

#17 Glory to God – CHORUS

#18 Rejoice – soprano and piano

#24 Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs – CHORUS

#40 Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together – bass and piano

#45 I Know My Redeemer Liveth – soprano and piano

#44 Hallelujah – CHORUS

About the Artists

Maestro Sperber, one of Israel’s preeminent choral and orchestral conductors, served as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 2000, following which he was appointed Laureate Conductor.  A native of New York, he immigrated to Israel in 1972, and made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1973.  He has toured extensively in Europe and North America and was the first Israeli conductor to take the podium in the former Soviet Union and in Czechoslovakia.

Maestro Sperber has appeared as guest conductor with the Symphony Orchestra of Baku, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the Budapest Philharmonic, the Saloniki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.  The Israeli Composers Association awarded him its Order of Merit, and he and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra were accorded First Prize for the Performance of Israeli Music by the National Council for the Arts and Culture.

Over recent seasons, Maestro Sperber has conducted orchestras in North America and Europe, including the Edmonton Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Chamber Orchestra, in addition to performances with the Israel Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.  In 2004, Mr. Sperber made his debut in China with the Shanghai Opera Company, and returned in 2006 to conduct Messiah.

In 2014, he led the Gala Opening Concert of the prestigious International Rubinstein Piano competition in Tel Aviv with Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy.  In 2015, he led a concert tour of the Jerusalem Chamber Choir to Frankfurt and Munich where he conducted concerts in commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. And in June 2016, he led the Jerusalem Chamber Choir in a series of concerts in Wroclaw, in honor of that city being chosen the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2016.

In 2017, Maestro Sperber conducted an all-Mozart program with the Israel Chamber Orchestra including a fully staged production of Mozart’s The Impresario.  In May, with the combined forces of the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Chamber Choir, he led a performance of the B Minor Mass in the annual Jerusalem Festival.

He has served as conductor of the Do-It-Yourself Messiah for 18 annual performances.

In 1998, Maestro Sperber was appointed to the faculty of Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he holds the position of Professor of Conducting.

A man of varied talents, Stanley Sperber is also an internationally certified tennis chair umpire, and has represented Israel in many major competitions including the Davis Cup and the U.S. Open.

Michelle Areyzaga has sung leading roles with the New York City Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Chicago Light Opera Works, Chicago Chamber Opera. She has appeared as soloist with the Grant Park Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Chicago Master Singers, Apollo Chorus, the Rochester Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Springfield Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony. Ms. Areyzaga is a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Festival of Song. She has recorded song cycles by Gwyneth Walker, The Sun Is LoveSongs from Spoon River by Lita Grier, and The Small Hours, songs by William Ferris. She was named Artist of the Year by Pioneer Press and has been an award recipient from the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, William C. Byrd International Young Artist Competition, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition (Ft. Worth Opera), NATSAA—National Finalist Outstanding Artist chosen by Teresa Stratas, Metropolitan Opera National Council (Central Region), Viñas Concurs International, and the Concert Artist Guild.

Grammy Award winner, Mark S. Doss has sung with the major orchestras of San Francisco, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago and Toronto, while additionally performing 100 roles with more than 60 major opera companies around the world.

The 2018/19 season saw a revival of Shell Shock in Paris for the anniversary of the Armistice (available on DVD), recitals in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York City, ending with a swing to the UK for his 99th performed role of Nabucco. He began the 2019/20 season with an Opera and Organ concert in downtown Chicago, followed by 12 performances of his 100th performed role, Rigoletto with Welsh National Opera.

Mr. Doss, who began his career on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, is noted for having sung 8 major roles at the famed Teatro alla Scala in Milan, while also receiving critical acclaim for his portrayals of Scarpia in Tosca, Wagner’s Dutchman, Verdi’s Macbeth, and Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust, among others.

Upcoming engagements include Toronto’s Volcano Company in performances of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha in San Francisco, the World Premiere of The Time of Our Singing with La Monnaie in Brussels, and Aida with the Dallas Opera.

David Schrader is a musical omnivore, excelling on the organ, the harpsichord, the clavichord, and the early and modern piano.  He has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under many different conductors, has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Staunton Music Festival, and was a founding member of both the Rembrandt Chamber Players and of Baroque Band.  As an organist, he has been a featured performer for the American Guild of Organists’ National Conventions on four different occasions, and for three National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society. For thirty-five years, he served as the organist of The Church of the Ascension in Chicago, and has also played with Callipygian Players, the Newberry Consort, and many other groups.  Mr. Schrader has performed many times on Chicago’s WFMT radio station from the Levin Studio, and has recorded for the London, Crest, CRI, Centaur, and Cedille labels.  He teaches at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts, where he teaches, among other things, baroque, classical, and romantic performance practice.  Among his most influential teachers have been Abbey Simon, Storm Bull, Anthony Newman, and McNeil Robinson.  This is Mr. Schrader’s twentieth performance as harpsichordist for the DIYM.

Stephen Buzard is the Director of Music at St. James Cathedral in Chicago where he plays the organ for services and conducts the Cathedral choir and chorister program. Mr. Buzard came to St. James from Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City where he served as Assistant Organist and later Acting Organist and Director of Music, leading the prestigious choir of men and boys in their rigorous routine of daily services. Mr. Buzard holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music where his teachers included Ken Cowan, Thomas Murray, Bruce Neswick, and Jeffrey Brillhart. Between degrees, Mr. Buzard spent a year in England as Senior Organ Scholar of Wells Cathedral.

Mr. Buzard was raised in a household full of organ music. His father is the president and founder of Buzard Pipe Organbuilders, and his mother is the organist-choirmaster at the Chapel of St. John the Divine in Champaign, Illinois. Mr. Buzard was the winner of the 2010 Arthur Poister Competition and the 2009 Joan Lippincott Competition for Excellence in Organ Performance. He is an Associate of the American Guild of Organists and currently serves as Dean of the Chicago chapter.

In addition to his church work, Mr. Buzard keeps an active solo recital schedule. His recording “In Light or Darkness,” available through Delos Records, has received wide critical acclaim. A reviewer for The Diapason wrote: “Buzard paints the color and shape of every phrase with a maturity belying his youthfulness… if this level of skill doesn’t dazzle you, then I do not know what will.” Mr. Buzard is under exclusive management of Karen McFarlane Artists. For more information, please visit

Meg Cutting is organ scholar at St. James Cathedral, Chicago. A 2020 graduate of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music, she earned a Master of Music in Organ Performance in the studio of Martin Jean. Prior to Yale, she received a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music, where she did her undergraduate studies with Nathan J. Laube. Meg is from Salem-Keizer, Oregon, and began studying piano at the age of six. She previously studied piano and organ under the instruction of Pamela Miller.

Meg has participated in various festivals, competitions, and given concerts throughout her musical career. She was a finalist in the Taylor Organ Competition in Atlanta, GA. She was also an E. Power Biggs Fellow for the 60th National Organ History Society Convention, and subsequently assisted in the preparation of the 2018 OHS Convention in Rochester, NY. She has been featured on Michael Barone’s Pipedreams Live!, and has additionally performed in concert at Slee Hall at the University of Buffalo, at Central Synagogue in New York City, and other notable venues. She is also the two-time recipient of the Robert Carwithen Music Foundation Scholarship. Meg has developed a passionate interest in the music of twentieth-century French organ composers, such as Messiaen, Alain, Duruflé, and Tournemire. She served as the Wilson Family Sacred Music Intern at the Brick Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, New York, where she worked under Minister of Music Keith Tóth.

The St. James Cathedral Choir is a semi-professional group of 32 singers, comprising both volunteers and stipendiary singers. The choir’s primary role is to provide music for the Cathedral’s weekly Choral Eucharist at 11am as well as Evensongs and other special services throughout the year.

St. James has long been recognized for excellence and leadership in the choral tradition. When it was founded, the parish established what was to become one of the country’s finest and most well-known choirs of men and boys. In 1926, that gave way to a mixed-voice choir of adult voices. Several luminaries of American church music have led the music program at St. James, including Dudley Buck (1869–71), Peter Christian Lutkin (1891–97), Clarence Dickinson (1897–98, 1903–1909), and Leo Sowerby (1927–62), considered to be the “Dean of American church music” for his vast musical output and influential style.

During the coronavirus pandemic, St. James Cathedral has pioneered the use of virtually produced music in live worship. By recording three of four virtual hymns and anthems every week, the Cathedral has kept all of its paid singers employed during this period of unprecedented disruption for choral singing. The choir has premiered several works written specifically for virtual singing by Director of Music Stephen Buzard, including an Isolation Requiem premiered on All Souls’ Day, 2020. For more information, please visit

The Do-It-Yourself Messiah is generously sponsored by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club

The Do-It-Yourself Messiah is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency

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