Messiah, by G.F. Handel, is perhaps the best known and most popular sacred oratorio ever written. In its entirety, it is comprised of 53 individual selections presented as orchestral symphonies, choruses, recitatives, and arias.
Sing-Along Messiah was founded in 2002, on the principle that everyone in the metropolitan Columbia area, and anyone willing to travel to Columbia, should have the opportunity to sing some part of Messiah at least once a year. Sing-Along Messiah was also established on the heartfelt tenet, of many people who have performed Messiah throughout their lives, that no Christmas season is ever truly complete without it.
Since its founding by our own Arletta Raley, Sing-Along Messiah has been hosted by Washington Street United Methodist Church and performed in its beautiful Sanctuary. The event is comprised of a 20-member professional orchestra, a core choir to lead the singing of the choruses and a professional conductor, Dr. Lillian Quackenbush. Singers in the core choir represent Washington Street United Methodist Church, Shandon Presbyterian Church, Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church, Trenholm Road United Methodist Church, Eastminster Presbyterian Church, the Arpad Darazs Singers, and the Columbia Choral Society. It is directed and produced by Angela and Davis Powers and is made possible through the dedication of many volunteers who strive to make Sing-Along Messiah a joyous Christmas experience for all who attend.
The one component that makes Sing-Along Messiah unique and gives it its identity is that the 600 people who attend the event are invited to join in the singing, as participants rather than an audience, with no rehearsal required, and without regard to how much or how well they sing. Last December, people from as far as Beaufort, Charleston, Charlotte, and Anderson drove to Columbia just to experience the blessings of singing and hearing Messiah at Christmastime.
Sing-Along Messiah is a joyous night of worship, instrumental music, and singing. It is the only annual sing-along presentation of Messiah in South Carolina. It is presented to the public without an admission charge. The money required to pay the professional musicians and other operating expenses of the event is provided by a few generous sponsors, attendee donations, and by the loving members of WSUMC. For additional information, visit www.singalongmessiah.org