Located in Historical Downtown Enid, Oklahoma
Located in Historical Downtown Enid, Oklahoma

Messiah, Georg Friderich Handel

The power of the musical imagination, the wealth of ideas, the depth of inspiration, and the sheer variety of invention continue to astonish.” Charles Bartlett. Composed in just twenty-four days, Handel’s Messiah is one of the cultural landmark which has become synonymous with the Advent season.

NOVEMBER 28-29, 2015 ~ Tickets not on sale, buy your season tickets here.


Lawana Newell, soprano

 Soprano Lawana Newell brings an extensive background as a performer and teacher to the Department of Fine Arts at Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

Currently Mrs. Newell is a candidate for the DMA Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Oklahoma where she studies with Dr. Dolores Leffingwell. She completed graduate studies in Vocal Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. As an undergraduate she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Church Music and Music Education from Pfeiffer College, a private Methodist college located in Misenheimer, NC where she was one of three students nationally chosen to receive a Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians Merit Scholarship.

Previously Lawana Newell studied voice with such renowned teachers as George Bitzas, Jerry Helton, Joan Heller, Kathryn Wright, Bernard Barbeau and Dr. Richard Brewer. She has participated in vocal master classes with such internationally acclaimed artists as Elly Ameling, Phyllis Curtin, Eleanor Steber and Marilyn Horne. Additionally, Mrs. Newell has worked with vocal coaches Terry Decima, Jana Ernst, Dr. Thomas Bandy and participated in opera workshops led by William Ferrara, David Bartholomew and James Gardner.

As a soprano soloist, Lawana Newell has performed with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Chamber Orchestra, Enid Symphony Orchestra, McLean Symphony Orchestra, New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Enid-Phillips Chorale and Orchestra, Pfeiffer College Concert and Symphonic Choirs and the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Choir. She has performed operatic roles with the University of Oklahoma Opera Theatre and Opera Workshop, Baylor University Opera Theatre and the New England Conservatory of Music Opera Theatre. Among her experience in the field of musical theatre are appearances with the Gaslight Theater, Morristown Community Theater, Winston-Salem Community Theater and the Pfeiffer College Musical Theatre. Her leading and primary roles include Guinevere in Camelot, Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, Eve in The Apple Tree, Little Mary in Little Mary Sunshine and Lady Larkin in Once Upon A Mattress.

Prior to returning to the faculty of NWOSU this Fall, Lawana Newell has served on the faculties of Pfeiffer College and Walters State Community College. In addition to her vocal accomplishments, Mrs. Newell is a talented vocal accompanist, choral director and organist. She has had extensive experience developing church music programs including adult, youth, graded children choirs and hand bell programs.



Mezzo-Soprano April Golliver-Mohiuddin, Associate Professor of Voice at Oklahoma State University, holds a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University.  Ms. Golliver is the recipient of the 2013 Friends of Music Distinguished Music Professor Award and the 2008 Wise-Diggs-Berry Award for Teaching Excellence at Oklahoma State University.

Ms. Golliver is in high demand as a performer and is quickly establishing a national reputation with operatic and concert performances across the United States.  She has performed with Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Mobile Opera, Canterbury Choral Society, Tulsa Signature Symphony, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Light Opera Oklahoma, and Bartlesville Choral Society. 

As a concert artist, she has performed in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Choral Fantasy, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody.

Ms. Golliver made her Carnegie Hall debut in the spring of 2010 performing Mozart’s Vesperae de Dominica, K.321 and Vesperae solennes de Confessore, K. 339.  In 2005, Ms. Golliver performed throughout the Czech Republic as alto soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.  She has made public appearances at the Aspen Music Festival and the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium in Spoleto, Italy. 

 Ms. Golliver, a native of Oklahoma, currently serves as the Governor for the Oklahoma National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Zac Engle, tenor

 Zac Engle won recognition early in his career, receiving the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Encouragement Award in 2010. His light lyric sound with high extension, strong stage presence, and comedic timing allows him to perform a broad spectrum of operatic repertoire ranging from buffo to seria.

Recently Zac was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda Honors Society. He currently is engaged as an Alumni Guest Artist with The Boston Conservatory as Lindoro in  L’Italiana in Algeri. This summer Zac was contracted with Boston Opera Collaborative as the title role in Albert Herring and as an Emerging Artist with Green Mountain Opera.

Zac’s most recent success was preceded by numerous performances both within the Boston area and across the country. Last year marked Zac’s premier performance of Don Ramiro for Boston Opera Collaborative’s production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola and a revisit to one of his favorite roles of Don Ottavio with Hidden Valley Opera in California. Zac served as a Young Artist with Nashville Opera where he covered Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and performed Roderigo in Verdi’s Otello. He completed the 2013 Fort Worth Opera season as Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos and covered the poignant role of Young Thompson in the war-drama Glory Denied. In 2013 Zac was contracted as an apprentice artist with Tulsa Opera and sang Giuseppe in The Most Happy Fella as well as covered Tonio in La Fille du Regiment. He has spent previous summers contracted as a young artist at The Seagle Music Colony, honing his stage skills and performing the role of Laurie from Adamo’s Little Women.



Kevin Eckard, Bass-Baritone, is currently a Professor of voice and directs the opera program at the University of Central Oklahoma. Dr. Eckard is a native of South Carolina. He received his DMA from the University of South Carolina and his Masters of Music from Indiana University.  Dr. Eckard has performed frequently throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Austria and Great Britain. He has performed as a soloist with The Messiah Festival in Lindsborg Kansas, the International choir festival in Chester, England, the Indianapolis Opera, Tulsa Opera, Denver Opera, Wichita Opera, Colorado Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Pueblo Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, the Carmel and Anderson Symphonies in Indiana, Augusta Opera, Opera Carolina, Canterbury Choral Society, and Lyric Theater of Oklahoma City. Dr. Eckard has been the featured soloist in productions of Mozart’s Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He has also performed Bach’s Mass in b minor, Magnificat, Cantata 140, Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott and Cantata 79. Among his many operatic credits, he has performed the roles of Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Budd in Albert Herring, Blitch in Susannah, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Monterone in Rigoletto, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Secret Policeman in The Consul, Don Alfonso in Cosi Fan Tutte, Escamillo in Carmen and Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore. Kevin has also performed in the musicals, Jekyll and Hyde, as the Bishop of Basingstoke, and Jesus Christ Superstar, as Caiaphas.

Dr. Eckard is a Regional Finalist and a two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s South Carolina District competition, and has won the Margerite Elfe Erckmann award for vocal performance.