Singers invited to perform Handel’s Messiah

Published 7:55 pm Monday, October 3, 2016

Singers of all ages and backgrounds are being asked to participate in a sing along of a different sort: Handel’s Messiah.

Hosted by the Beaufort County Choral Society, the community sing will take place in a single day, Dec. 3, at the Turnage Theatre in downtown Washington: registration at noon; rehearsal from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and a concert at 7 p.m.

“Anyone who wants to sing (is invited),” said Phil Adams, treasurer of the choral society. “There are no auditions required. We welcome the entire community.”

Adams said the choral society has sent letters to 80 churches in the area to get the word out, and already people have called to register.

“We would be overwhelmed if we had 80 to 100 people, and we would love that,” Adams said. “The worst case scenario is that the audience sits on stage and the singers take up the theater seats because there are so many.”

The community sing along is a fundraiser for the choral society. Each person who participates is asked to pay a fee: $10 for the music; and $10 for BCCS members to participate; $20 for nonmembers. All participants are asked to buy a copy of the music, which is theirs to keep, because all singers need to be on the same page.

“It’s critical because there are different editions of this book,” Adams said, referring to the G. Schirmer edition of The Messiah. “That’s why we’re insisting that people buy the book. … It’s the most popular edition.”

Part of the money raised will go to pay professional musicians accompanying the impromptu choir, Adams said. The rest will be used to support the choral society’s activities. While the choral society has traditionally performed two Christmas concerts each year, this season, BCCS will be branching out to do five concerts — at Cypress Glen in Greenville, PotashCorp-Aurora, First Baptist Church in Chocowinity, the Turnage Theatre in Washington and St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bath — in addition to the community sing along on Dec. 3.

Those who sing at the Dec. 3 concert, should they attend the Dec. 9 concert at the Turnage Theatre, will be invited to join the choral society onstage for the final song of the performance, the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah, Adams said.

Adams said he doesn’t recall the choral society hosting such an event in previous years, but with 12 new members to the choral society this semester and several non-members already registered to participate in the Messiah, BCCS is hoping for a big turnout.

For more information about the community sing along, email or visit the choral society’s Facebook page.