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Soloists named for Dec. 7 Handel's "Messiah" performance

Bluffton University’s music department has announced the soloists for its 119th performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, in Founders Hall. Soloists are Dr. Helen Allen, soprano; Stephanie Schoenhofer, mezzo-soprano; Justin Berkowitz, tenor; and Lance Ashmore, baritone.


Helen Allen
Allen, who holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in music from The Ohio State University, has been a member of the voice faculty at Otterbein University since 2001. The Yellow Springs, Ohio, native has made numerous appearances as a soloist, and has appeared in “Don Giovanni”—among other operas—and with Columbus Light Opera, Opera Columbus Outreach and the Westerville (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra. She lives in Columbus with her husband and four children.

Stephanie Schoenhofer
Schoenhofer, from Lima, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and the University of Michigan, respectively. Winner of the high school division of the Lima Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition in 2006, she has since been a Young Artist with several opera companies, including Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Opera Saratoga. She has also performed in “Hello, Dolly!” and “Brigadoon,” and as a soloist in many concert works.

Justin Berkowitz
Berkowitz also holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, in voice performance, along with bachelor’s degrees in voice performance and English from Lawrence University and Conservatory in Appleton, Wis. Originally from Edina, Minn., he has performed major roles at Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Naples and St. Petersburg Opera, among others, and has sung numerous oratorio solos. He spent summer 2012 as a Young Artist with the Ohio Light Opera company.

Lance Ashmore
Ashmore earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University. He is now a member of the voice faculties at Bowling Green, Ohio Northern University and the University of Findlay. He has appeared with opera companies throughout the region, including Cleveland Opera, Toledo Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre and Lyric Opera Cleveland.

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