Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 9:56am

The University of Georgia Collegium Musicum and Players, UGA's premier Early Music ensemble directed by associate professor in the Hodgson School of Music Mitos Andaya, will perform Handel's Messiah on Sunday, April 1 at 6 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Athens.

While a great occassion to bring together town-and-gown during the Easter season, the free concert will also be an opportunity for Franklin College alumni to return to campus. Joining the Collegium Musicum for the concert will be alums Derek and Laura (Transue) Chester and James Miller, as well as guest soloist Fabiana Gonzalez.

April 1 also happens to be Hugh Hodgson's birthday - so this confluence will also be a great way to celebrate the man who continues to have an impact on so many Georgians.

Tenor Derek Chester is steadily making a name for himself in the world of classical singing. Just prior to this concert, Chester sang in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem with the Korean Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra in South Korea; and just after this performance of Messiah, he will be on his way to Norway for a reconstruction of Bach's Markus-Passion. And while he is very serious and accomplished, if you haven't seen his youtube series of Chester Summer Musicals: Lessons with the Kiddos, it's well worth your time.

Handel's Messiah. Sunday April 1 at 6 pm, First Presbyterian Church, 185 East Hancock Street, downtown Athens. FREE.