"This reworking of Handel's majestic oratorio deserves every bit of attention it will get, for it's much more than simply a swing-tinged embellishment of a centuries-old masterpiece.
Musical arrangers Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson have vigorously re-imagined the work, redefining it in terms of black musical tradition."

~ Chicago Tribune


TOO HOT TO HANDEL is a unique reinterpretation of Handel's "Messiah"
transformed into a Jazz - Gospel arrangement by


Bob Christianson ~ co-arranger / Hammond B-3 Organ: Bob Christianson is a composer, arranger, keyboard player and conductor. In 2007, Bob was co-scoring the television show Life is Wild (CW) with multi-platinum artist Maurice White of "Earth, Wind & Fire" fame. His new musical Take Me America (book and lyrics by Bill Nabel) was presented at the Midtown Manhattan Theater Festival, and took several major prizes, including "Best New Musical". Take Me America is based on the award winning PBS Documentary Well Founded Fear.

Bob was also the most called upon composer for the HBO series, Sex and The City. He was nomiated for an Emmy for his music for ABC Sports, and has scored many series for the Discovery family of networks, including Secrets of the National Parks (Travel Channel), The Blue Angels - A Year in the Life (Discovery Channel), and Beating the Odds (Discovery Health). His television credits also include The Equalizer (CBS), Gimme A Break (NBC) and Winter Olympics (CBS). Bob has also written over 25 award winning sports themes for CBS, ESPN and ABC.

With his writing partner, Cappy Caposella, he has written the ground-breaking new rock musical entitled GRAIL. The album for GRAIL is now available on iTunes and at CD Baby.

Bob Christianson received his bachelor's degree from SUNY at Potsdam (Crane School of Music) and graduate work in composition at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. After college, he started in New York as musical director/conductor for such Broadway shows as Godspell, Gilda Radner-Live From New York and The Magic Show.

As a successful studio synthesist, Bob has recorded with such producers as the late, great Arif Marden and has recorded with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Jan Hammer, Judy Collins, Dianna Ross & Rupert Holmes. In the concert arena, Bob has had the good fortune to work on several projects with longtime friend, Marin Alsop, his favorite being Too Hot To Handel with co-arranger, Gary Anderson.


  Gary Anderson ~ co-arranger: Gary Anderson's compositions and orchestrations continue to be heard around the globe with music recently created for ABC News, CNN, CBS, HBO, Discovery Channel and PBS.
Gary composed the music for Avoiding Armageddon - a six-hour documentary for Ted Turner Productions, which was aired by PBS.  Known for being an incredibly versatile composer in a variety of genres for both stage and
screen, Anderson combines his deep understanding of the orchestral palette and trust in today's technology to create music that connects with the human spirit.

A native of Southern California, Gary graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he began his professional music life as a full-time professor and member of the Berklee Saxophone Quartet under the direction of teacher and mentor, Joe Viola. Gary received the Outstanding Achievement Award alongside fellow alumnus Alf Clausen and was named one of Berklee's "Fifty Outstanding Alumnus" as part of Berklee's 50th Anniversary celebration.

Gary also spent five years traveling the world as saxophonist/chief arranger/music director of Woody Hermans' Thundering Herd. Gary settled in New York City and joined Score Productions in 1988 as surpervising composer and Executive Vice President. While at Score, he created some of the most recognized themes on television, including ABC's World News Tonight, Nightline, Larry King Live, Guiding Light and the Grammy award winning soundtrack of Sesame Street's 30th Anniversary Special: Elmopalooza.  Gary's personal favorite is the theme for Bart Simpson's favorite TV program - the"Itchy & Scratchy Show." 

As an educator as well as a composer, arranger and performer, Anderson recently returned to teaching and as a member of the IAJE, participates in summer jazz workshops across the country.

Creative Team
Program Notes

e-mail me

|About| |Creative Team| |FAQ| |News| |Program Notes| |ORDER CD| |gpage| |LOOK| |Artistic |