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Classical 101

Lend Your Voice to ProMusica's 'Messiah' Sing-Along

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's annual 'Messiah' sing-along is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at the Southern Theatre.

The Southern Theatre hosts ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's annual Messiah sing-along at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8. David Danzmayr conducts the wonderful ProMusica Chamber Orchestra we know and love, plus orchestra students and local music directors.

And the chorus? Well, you're the chorus. I'm the chorus. All of us who show up are the chorus.

Those of us in the audience will sing selections from George Frideric Handel's Messiah, along with church choirs.

Growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts, I was surrounded by artifacts of the American Revolution (today I am one). I went to Muzzey Junior High School and threw a football not far from the grave of seven felled redcoats.

That was a long time ago.

Now, there are more sushi bars than hardware stores in Lexington. The redcoats remain. So does a loved tradition of the annual Messiah sing-along in the Town Hall (Cary Hall, if you please), presented by Masterworks Chorale.

You know what? Choral music in the Lexington public schools was cool. And the Messiah sing was the apex of coolness.

They had scores to borrow, or if you were way cool, you brought your own. G. Schirmer paperbacks were $5. Local denizens in real estate, automotive repair (Chevies and Plymouths), ice-cream joints and town meeting were among the soloists.

It was a lovely evening, and a real community event. Everyone was welcome. If you couldn't sing — or worse, thought you could but couldn't — there were plenty of experienced choristers to drown you out. You just had to love being there, and everybody did.

That's why to this day, I tear up at Messiah sing-alongs. I bless the many organizations in Central Ohio that sponsor these gatherings at Christmastime.

Handel himself was a canny businessman who wanted his music performed and heard. Here's your chance to do both. ProMusica's excellence and the gifted Danzmayr will add polish and contribute to the love.

Come sit next to me in the Southern Theatre on Friday night. With any luck, you'll drown out my singing, and we will all have a wonderful time.

ProMusica is also hosting a diaper drive for the YWCA Family Center, so don't forget to bring a donation. They'll be collecting diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6 and pull-ups are needed most), baby wipes, bottles and sippy cups.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.
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