Big Choir Singing!

Eight hundred voices joined together yesterday afternoon for the 5th Annual Messiah Sing-Along in Roswell, GA (north metro Atlanta).  Sponsored by The Michael O’Neal Singers, it has become a community favorite and increases in attendance each year.  What a joy it is to have 800 people gathered together in one place singing with full robost voices the marvelous choruses of Handel’s masterpiece.  Since our performance space (Roswell UMC) seats 2000,  we should be alright for a few more years!

With soloists drawn from The Michael O’Neal Chamber Singers and instrumental accompaniment provided by the Riverside Chamber Players and organist Tom Alderman, the entire performance was a pleasure from the opening notes of the Overture to the final chords of “Hallelujah.”  There is such a sense of satisfaction that comes from so many people gathered in one place to perform (not just hear) the most beloved oratorio ever written.

For many of us, the familiar solos and choruses of of Handel’s “Christmas” Messiah (Part I and the “Hallelujah” from Part II) have become an integral part of our holiday experience.  I know that’s true for me, and I’m thankful to all those 800 people who helped make it happen this holiday season.

  • Charlie Mathers

    As I joined 800+ others singing “Messiah” (at least the Christmas part), I was struck by how that event was the ultimate extension of Robert Shaw’s comments about commitment being the singular gift of amateur musicians. So much more than even the full MOS chorus, the congregation singing “Messiah” Sunday afternoon was committed! Donating two to three very precious hours of time and paying to participate, each and every one of us was committed to reaffirming Handel’s musical message.
    Now, a few days in retrospect, I am convinced that was Handel’s ultimate intent, to create a piece of music that men and women can sing together to communally join into proclaiming the greatest truth in his life. Over almost 300 years, it does just that. Every group that resings “Messiah” regathers humanity into a cohesive whole with no reservations of color or creed or life style or nationality or parentage. For a little while, we were what Handel hoped for, a community united in acknowledging the majesty and glory and power and supremacy of God. Hallelujah!

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