Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

December 1, 2012

Handel's 'Messiah' is holiday tradition

Church hosts holiday concert for 34th time

TRAVERSE CITY — Central United Methodist Church is hosting a community performance of Handel's "Messiah" on Sunday, renewing a 34-year-old tradition.

The program will feature well-known selections from the beloved oratorio, concluding with the "Hallelujah" chorus. Byron Hanson, for many years a faculty member at Interlochen Center for the Arts, will serve as conductor.

The lineup of professional soloists includes soprano Lynne Church, mezzo-soprano Wendee Wolf-Schlarf, tenor John Bragle and bass-baritone Robert Peavler, accompanied by a chamber orchestra. The NMC Grand Traverse Chorale and Chamber Singers will perform as well.

Amateur singers also get an opportunity to share the spotlight. The chorus is open to all, and the only rehearsal takes place at 2:45 p.m., followed by the performance at 4. Music booklets will be available.

"Many people have said the 'Messiah Sing' represents the start of their Christmas season," Hanson said. "We encourage everyone to take part, even if you haven't done it before. There's room for newcomers as well as those who have participated all along."

There is no charge to attend, but a free-will offering is taken to assist with production costs.

The church is located at 222 Cass St.

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