WSMR Quarterly Issue Reports - Q1 2020

The Florida Orchestra Handel’s “Messiah” Rebroadcasting

Be sure to tune in to Classical WSMR this Easter Sunday at 2pm for a very special rebroadcasting. We will be airing The Florida Orchestra’s concert for George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” This concert was originally performed in December and featured the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay! Michael Francis led the orchestra’s captivating performance during this concert back in December. Handel’s “Messiah” is without a doubt one of the most recognizable and celebrated orchestra works to have ever been composed.

The Conductor

Michael Francis is the current Florida Orchestra conductor which began in 2014. His contract has recently been extended through the 2023-24 orchestra season. Currently, Michael Francis has entered his fifth season as the orchestra’s leading conductor. In addition, Francis is the Chief Conductor of Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz which began at the start of the 2019-20 orchestra season. Francis is adamant for educational outreach, as he was the conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada during their Spanish tour in 2019. Also, Francis’s discography includes the Rachmaninov piano concertos with Valentina Lisitsa and the London Symphony Orchestra along with the Ravel & Gershwin piano concertos with Ian Parker. Michael Francis’ resume illustrates the immense talent he possesses and remains to be a welcomed addition to The Florida Orchestra. 

Handel’s “Messiah”

George Frideric Handel is no doubt one of the most infamous and recognizable composers of the 17th century. He specialized in constructing pieces for Italian opera for the keen and ornate audiences in England. Handel’s “Messiah” is his most praised and recognized work. Many 17th century composers attempted to model their works off of Handel’s “Messiah” but had little success. This composition has captivated audiences for over 300 years and continues to be a worthy inclusion to church services throughout Christianity. The text for “Messiah” was composed based on prophecies of the Messiah’s birth in the Old Testament, the depictions of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection from the New Testament, and verses relating to the return of Christ. Handel’s “Messiah” is a staple for classical compositions and is an excellent inclusion to your Easter Sunday.

Staying Connected

We here at Classical WSMR want to give a very special thank you to The Florida Orchestra and The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay for providing us with this rebroadcasting for your Easter Sunday. We also want to thank the Tampa Bay Times for including us in their article this past Wednesday. George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” is a noteworthy composition that will resonate well on this year’s Easter Sunday. 

You can read more about this concert at Be sure to check out The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay’s website at The Tampa Bay Times article can be located here: In addition, be sure to check out The Florida Orchestra’s website and stay up to date with the orchestra at And as always, you can listen to this rebroadcasting for up to 30 days at Tune in this Sunday at 2pm for this rebroadcasting on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9. Listen to us live on air or download the WUSF Public Media App. You can also tell Alexa to stream Classical WSMR.

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