Handel's Messiah

Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra &

The Beecher Singers

Dr. Michelle Louer, Conductor

December 5, 2021 | 3:00 pm

Second Presbyterian Church 

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Welcoming back our annual traditions...


Following our virtual Handel's Messiah Reimagined in 2020, we could not be more excited to return to Second Presbyterian Church to present our annual collaboration of Handel's Messiah! Last year, pandemic restrictions led us to explore a more intimate interpretation of Messiah - one that called us to reflect on grief, isolation, privilege and despair. This year, our return to a full orchestra and chorus will further emphasize the joy and revelation that invariably counteracts grief and isolation, both in Handel's writing and in our own lives. 

We are pleased to welcome back soloists Paulina Francisco, Michael Walker, Gregório Taniguchi and David Rugger, as well as beloved Baroque trumpeters Kris Kwapis and Lena Console, and timpanist Brian McNulty - all of whom bring joy and passion to their interpretation of Handel's music.

New this year, we invited children of all ages to join us on December 4 at 11am for Getting a Handel on Messiah: A Childrens' Introduction. This program will include an introduction to Baroque instruments, notable melodies from Messiah, and a visit from George Frideric Handel himself! 

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About Michelle Louer & The Beecher Singers

Dr. Michelle Louer is in her twelfth year as the Director of Music and Fine Arts at Second Presbyterian Church where she leads a comprehensive program for children and adults, providing vocal and instrumental opportunities for education, ministry, and performance. Dr. Louer conducts the 70-voice Sanctuary Choir and the Beecher Singers (a professional chamber choir) and oversees a talented music staff that directs children and youth music, handbell ensemble, wind ensemble, and a vibrant fine arts area.

The Beecher Singers is a professional 16-voice chamber ensemble providing music in worship and in the community. The group performs a broad range of vocal chamber repertoire, recognized for its skilled interpretation of Baroque style and performance of new works alike. Through various outreach concerts, the ensemble gives myriad opportunities for listeners to experience God through music in the greater Indiana community.

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Join us December 4 for a children & family-friendly Messiah event! - Learn more


Meet the artists


Paulina Francisco


Paulina Francisco is a versatile singer and interpreter of early music. In the summer of 2021 she was a finalist in the 2021 Handel Aria Competition and an ARTEK Madrigal Madness Fellow. In the 2021-2022 season, Paulina looks forward to singing with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Caprice,  Las Aves, and The Choir of St. Andrew and St. Paul's (Montréal). Paulina is an alum of the American Bach Soloists Academy and in November will participate in a Masterclass in the Quartier des Artistes with Les Arts Florissants in Thiré, France.

Paulina is passionate about bulding connections between scholarship and performance, with a special interest in the education and training of early modern singers, voice production and the lives of early modern women. Paulina is in the final stages of completing a DM in Historical Performance from Indiana University, with additional specialization in musicology and vocology.


Michael Walker


Praised for his “luminous tone, weighted with pathos” (Upstage), countertenor Michael Walker has performed oratorios and recitals throughout the United States and abroad. He frequently performs in historically informed performances ranging from the Early Renaissance to the Late Baroque eras. As an interpreter of early music, Michael has been a featured soloist with Alchymy Viols, Mon Choeur, Echoing Air, and the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project.  Additionally, Michael has been the featured alto soloist in G. F. Handel’s Messiah with the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra and the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra, in J. S. Bach’s Magnificat with the Marquette Choral Society, and in Giovanni Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the AIMS International Music School in the United Kingdom. 

Michael is passionate about expanding the definitions of the western musical canon and historical performance practices.   Particularly comfortable in the realm of interpreting art songs and contemporary works, as a recitalist, Michael has presented various art songs programs such as Alchymy Viols’ Deep River: American Spirituals My Mother Taught Me, Across the Pond: British Art Songs, Duet Recital: Romantic Era Joint-Lieder with fortepiano , and An Evening of Organ and Voice: Sacred Baroque Works.   


Gregório Taniguchi


Gregório Taniguchi crafts compelling performances that move audiences. His dedication to rhetoric in music draws listeners to hear historical works as a dynamic and living part of our musical culture, illuminating classics for a modern audience. Contemporary vocal music and new works by emerging composers likewise come alive through his communicative artistry.

Gregório has empowered narratives with an intuitive sense for storytelling as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion and Christmas Oratorio, Æneas in Cavalli’s La Didone, Miles Zegner in Missy Mazzoli's Proving Up, and Septimius in Handel's Theodora. He advocates for the intimate connections created by chamber music and regularly presents recitals of classic and contemporary art song. He has worked closely with pioneers of the early music movement as well as the next generation, including Paul Elliott, Scott Allen Jarrett, Jeffrey Thomas, and John Butt. As one of the nation’s finest choral artists, he has appeared with Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Clarion Vocal Ensemble, Seraphic Fire, Cantus, Washington Bach Consort, Oregon Bach Festival, and Staunton Music Festival.


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David Rugger


With a voice praised for its “dark-hued splendor” (San Francisco Gate), baritone David Rugger enjoys a blossoming career in oratorio, early music, and ensemble singing. This season will feature a solo debut with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and return performances with the Washington Bach Consort, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and Bourbon Baroque.  


A scholar as well as a performer, David earned his PhD in Musicology from Indiana University, where he also studied voice and was active in the Historical Performance Institute. In his scholarship, David explores the relationship between vocal sound, the body, and identity from the nineteenth century through to the present day, especially in England and America. David is currently a Visiting Lecturer in Musicology and Voice at Butler University.