Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Presents “Belshazzar’s Feast”

Sunday, 14 April 2019 - 4:00pm

Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Presents “Belshazzar’s Feast”

Howard Performing Arts Center, Berrien Springs

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4:00pm Performance


The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra (SMSO) presents its Mainstage Season finale, Belshazzar’s Feast, Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4:00pm at the Howard Performing Arts Center in Berrien Springs.


Encompassing multiple collaborative efforts, the concert is highlighted by William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feastfeaturing the Southwest Michigan Symphony Chorus and baritone Jonathan Beyer. Also included is the side by side piece, “Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila with the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra, and the world premiere of original composition Michigan Mosaic by SMSO bassoonist, Alan Palider.


The rarely performed masterpiece, Belshazzar’s Feast, unites the musical prowess of over fifty Southwest Michigan Symphony Chorus members, professional operatic baritone Jonathan Beyer, and the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, for an epic storytelling of Babylon’s fall due to King Belshazzar’s sacrilegious behavior at a feast.  As chorus co-director James Kraus describes, “With moments of angular harmony, changing meters and crisp rhythmic patterns, the piece will continuously stun the audience with its huge choral sound.” Directed by David Carew and James Kraus, the chorus, as well as Jonathan Beyer, have appeared with the SMSO on numerous performances.


The performance of the “Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalilacontinues an annual partnership between the SMSO’s professional musicians and members of the Lake Michigan Youth Symphony. As part of the SMSO’s educational programming, over 70 students are provided with a professional musician rehearsal and performance experience through the side-by-side concert. The Youth Symphony is conducted by SMSO Education Director, Mr. Burke Lokey.


Michigan Mosaicis the result of a 2017 Brad and Betsy Wong Professional Development Grant award to bassoonist Alan Palider. Brad and Betsy Wong were former members of the orchestra who strongly supported the efforts of their musical peers. The resulting composition is a work for full orchestra that offers a variety of thematic material based on the song “Michigan, My Michigan.”


More information and tickets are available by calling 269-982-4030 or by visiting the SMSO website at


Event details are as follows:

WHAT: Belshazzar’s Feast Concert

WHO: The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

WHERE: Howard Performing Arts Center, 4160 E. Campus Circle Dr, Berrien Springs.

WHEN: Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4:00pm.

●        Pre-concert Conversation beginning at 3:00pm in the concert hall.

●        Post-concert Reception in the lobby following the concert.


TICKETSavailable online, by calling our office at 269-982-4030, or in person at 513 Ship St. St. Joseph Mon-Fri 10am-5pm.

Zone A: Adult: $35 / Full time students $5

Zone B: Adult: $20 / Full time students $5



“Bacchanale” from Samson et Dalila                                        Camille Saint-Saëns

Michigan Mosaic                                                                              Alan Palider

Belshazzar’s Feast                                                                            William Walton


Our Generous Sponsors

The Symphony is only able to perform these concerts with support from our community.  While that support takes many forms, we are particularly grateful to our sponsors for this concert: Woodland Terrace, The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, and WNIT. Additionally, this activity is supported by theMichigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and theNational Endowment for the Arts.


For press inquiries regarding this concert, please contact Robin Fountain, SMSO Music Director, 615-522-8295, robin.p.fountain@vanderbilt.eduand David Carew, SMSC Director, 269-845-5792,


David Carew Biography

David is in his fourteenth year as Director of Choral Activities at  Southwestern Michigan College where he conducts four ensembles, coordinates applied voice instruction, and teaches aural skills.  Before Southwestern, David taught middle and high school choral music in the Dowagiac and Edwardsburg School Districts.  He received his Bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University in 1998 and completed a Master’s Degree in conducting from Michigan State University in 2005. David is the Director and Co-founder of the Dogwood Chorale, a semi-professional ensemble that operates under the umbrella of the Dowagiac Dogwood Fine Arts Festival, and Chorllennium, a newly-formed professional choral collective comprised of area music educators and singers with extensive performance experience. David has sung with the St. Joseph Valley Camerata for 10 seasons and had the privilege of appearing with them at the American Choral Directors Association regional conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2008.  He is the founding conductor of the Southwest Michigan Symphony Chorus which serves as the primary choir for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra.  He has also prepared choruses for The South Bend Symphony Orchestra including a performance of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in Maestro Tsung Yeh's final appearance as artistic director in the Spring of 2016. He recently took a group of 30 community singers to Ireland on a cathedral tour in June with Jim Kraus through Music Celebrations.  David currently serves as the two-year college Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Michigan chapter of the American Choral Director's Association and previously on the Executive Board as Treasurer. He resides in Buchanan and has two children, Jacob (16) and Laura (12).

Jonathan Beyer Biography

Jonathan Beyer is a baritone who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Florida Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Dallas Opera, St. Louis Opera Theater, Austin Lyric Opera, Vancouver Opera, Opera Darmstadt, Fort Worth Opera, Hong Kong Opera, Teatro Petruzzelli, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera de Montreal, Royal Opera House in Oman, Chicago Lyric Opera, Opera Naples and others. He has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Netherlands Radio Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Baton Rouge Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, Detroit Symphony, the Erie Philharmonic and the Festival at Aix-en-Provence.


Mr. Beyer was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. He was the 1st Place Winner at the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists. He has also won the Geroge London Foundation, Sullivan Foundation, McCammon Competition, Irma M. Cooper Competition, Violetta DuPont Competition, Rochester’s Classical Idol, New Jersey Verismo Competition, Philadelphia Orchestra Competition, Astral Artist Auditions, Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions, SAI Competition, American Opera Society Competition, the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition, and the Bel Canto Foundation. He has also received awards from the Lissner, Jensen, and Solti Foundations, Zachary, Dalis, Liederkranz, Orpheus, Liederkranz, Neue Stimmen, Palm Beach Opera, and Lynam Competitions, Sosenko, Lanza, Iturbi, Gari and Puccini Foundations, and National Opera Associations.


An avid recitalist, Mr. Beyer has performed in recital through the Vocal Arts Society, Marilyn Horne Foundation, Carnegie Hall Foundation, Chicago Cultural Center, Judith Raskin Foundation, Bertlesmann Foundation, Huntsville Chamber Music Guild, Pittsburgh Concert Society, Van Cliburn Foundation, Over the Rainbow Foundation, Astral Artists, and the Marian Anderson Foundation.  He has degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.


About the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

The SMSO has been an integral part of the cultural fabric of our community since 1951. We strive to cultivate and inspire a diverse audience through professional musical experiences. We embrace the responsibility to be a dynamic and vibrant part of southwest Michigan by offering innovative programming, broader venues and increased educational opportunities, while balancing artistic growth with financial soundness. Your participation and support is vital to our mission of Transforming Lives Through Music.






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