41st Annual Messiah Sing-In to be Held Dec. 9

December 01, 2008

December 1, 2008 — The University of Virginia McIntire Department of Music presents the 41st Annual Messiah Sing-in Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. in the Old Cabell Hall Auditorium.

The Sing-In is conducted by Donald Loach and benefits the University’s choral ensembles. Tickets are $5, and are available by calling the Cabell Hall Box Office at 434-924-3984.

Loach started the tradition of the U.Va. Messiah Sing-In in 1968 as one of the first in the nation. It was a simple beginning with no orchestra. Yvaine Duisit was the organist, and music professor Walter Ross played double bass. Ross has continuously participated in the Messiah Sing-In since its inception. Later, an orchestra began to develop, all voluntary and unsolicited.

In the beginning, churches in the area provided scores. However, in 1974, with the help of generous donations, scores were purchased. Community members, students and faculty joined the core group of singers, which consisted of the University Singers and the Virginia Glee Club — and today also includes the U.Va. Chamber Singers and Virginia Women's Chorus.

Loach has sought to retain the joy and simplicity of the occasion without any professional pretense, orchestral rehearsals or professional soloists. The U.Va. Messiah Sing-In remains a simple and joyous event, relying on the University and Charlottesville community to come together to sing and perform one of the greatest oratorios ever written.

Participants sit in sections arranged according to vocal part (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), and the orchestra sits on stage. Non-singers are encouraged to listen from the loge and balcony. Copies of the vocal score will be available for those who do not have their own, and orchestral parts will be available for instrumentalists.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Cabell Hall Box Office at 434-924-3984, weekdays from noon to 5 p.m., or two hours prior to the Sing-In.