The free, public-participation performance of G.F. Handel’s “Messiah,” a Modesto tradition, will return on Sunday, Nov. 20. Singers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in the community-wide event, which will take place at 3 p.m. at Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 1600 Carver Road in Modesto. The 2022 performance will be dedicated to the memory of Ginger Covert Colla, who led the sing-along from 2008 to 2018.
Conductor John Carter will return to take up the baton, which had to be set down for a two-year hiatus during the COVID pandemic.
“People are ready to sing together again,” said Carter, a professor of music at Columbia College for over 30 years, now retired. “I’m especially glad to welcome organist Carol Hughes to accompany the singers, as well as a professional string quartet, brass and timpani.”
Carter will lead the singers in more than a dozen of oratorio’s choruses as well as several pieces that are normally reserved for soloists. Vocal soloists include Linda Carter (soprano), Bruce Merchant (tenor), and Larry Dorman (bass).
Scheduled each year for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, “The sing-along is a great way to kick off the Holiday season,” said event organizer, Denise Nordell. “Singers come from throughout the region to sing with us. Whether you’ve sung “Messiah” once or a hundred times, or just enjoyed listening to it from the audience, the “Messiah” sing-along gives vocalists of all skill levels the opportunity to enjoy the experience of sharing this beautiful music together.” The sing-along typically attracts up to 150 singers from throughout the region.
Singers are encouraged to bring their own scores; however, copies will be available to borrow. For more information, call (209) 765-6388.