Performances of Handel’s Messiah are among the best-loved traditions of the holiday season. This year, there are several to choose from, for singers and listeners alike.
The Majesty of Christmas — The sing-along Messiah by the Butler Philharmonic and Chorus on Friday, Dec. 7, might be the region’s largest. Music director Paul John Stanbery says their first Messiah last year drew 1,000. It’s so popular, “we might need to do it twice,” he says.
Stanbery has assembled a fine cast of soloists: Soprano Jennifer Cherest, mezzo Kaylee Nichols, baritone Tom Dreeze and tenor Scott Wyatt. They’ll be performing the Christmas portion, plus selected arias and of course, the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Oh, and you won’t need to bring your own score, unless you want to. The chorus parts will be shown on two giant video screens. There will be designated areas for singers by type: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass.
Details: 7:30 pm Dec. 7, West Chester Church of the Nazarene, 7951 Tylersville Rd. Tickets: $20, ages 13 and up.; $5 for Seniors and Students (ages 6 through 12); Kids 5 and under are Free. No reserved seating this year. butlerphil.org or call 513-895-5151.
Collegium Cincinnati Messiah: Christopher Eanes’ superb ensemble at Christ Church Cathedral performs Handel’s complete Messiah on Dec. 9. This year, Collegium Cincinnati is joined by the Cincinnati Boychoir (which Eanes also directs).
Details: 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, Christ Church Cathedral, downtown. Tickets: $20-$35. collegiumcincinnati.org.
B.E.S.T. Messiah Sing-Along: Join the Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas in its annual Messiah Sing-Along in the historic St. Thomas Church in Terrace Park. Director Carlton Monroe leads the church’s fourth annual sing-along at 7:30 p.m., Monday Dec. 17.
Bring your own score or borrow one of theirs, find your seat in the audience and join in singing the choruses from Handel’s beloved masterwork. The instrumentalists and soloists of the BEST — Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas — will accompany your voice. They’ll sing the Christmas portion of Messiah, and conclude with the “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Details: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17, St. Thomas Church in Terrace Park. $15 suggested donation. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Seats not claimed by 7:20 p.m. will be given to stand-by patrons. Information: stthomasepiscopal.org.
Knox Music Series: Knox Church in Hyde Park is legendary for its excellent music series. Longtime director Earl Rivers leads the complete Messiah on Dec. 23, with the Knox Choir, instrumentalists and always excellent soloists.
Details: 4 p.m. Dec 23, Knox Church in Hyde Park. Donations are accepted. Get there early to get a seat, as this is very popular. Information at knox.org.