U.Va. to Host 40th Annual Messiah Sing-In

November 28, 2007

Nov. 28, 2007 — The McIntire Department of Music presents the 40th Annual Messiah Sing-In on Tuesday, Dec. 11 beginning at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The Sing-In, again conducted by Donald Loach, benefits the University's choral ensembles.

Loach inaugurated 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 fellow music professor Walter Ross — who has participated in the event since its inception — played double bass. Later, an orchestra began to develop, all voluntary and unsolicited. Area churches provided musical scores until 1974, when scores were purchased with the help of generous donations. 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 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 for the Sing-In 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 in person at the Cabell Hall Box Office between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; by calling (434) 924-3984 during the same hours; or two hours prior to the event.