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Monday, December 5

Messiah Sing! in Portsmouth

Messiah Sing!

The Seacoast’s largest community-sing
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 7:30pm

Ten Seacoast choruses, nine conductors, four featured soloists, eleven-piece orchestra

“It’s kind of a ‘happening’—great fun and one of the best ways I know to celebrate the true meaning behind the Christmas season. Bring your friends and family and your own score and join us for this glorious occasion.” – Priscilla French

The Music Hall is thrilled to welcome back the Seacoast’s largest Messiah Sing! Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30pm, for a sixth season of the Seacoast’s best-loved choruses and conductors, guest soloists and orchestral accompaniment, and friends and family in a community performance featuring Handel’s triumphant Christmas oratorio. Patrons can bring their own score, or purchase one at RiverRun Bookstore after Thanksgiving or at The Music Hall the day of the concert.

“Nothing can compare to this transcendent community sing in our glorious historic theater” says Patricia Lynch, Executive Director of The Music Hall. “Patrons are also participants: every member of the audience has the opportunity to follow the signs for sopranos, altos, tenors, and bass and seat themselves. Whether people choose to simply view the performance or to raise their voices in song, they’re swept up in an uplifting and unforgettable celebration of the season.”

“The audience members were the stars.” – Portsmouth Herald

About Messiah Sing!

The concert includes selections from George Friedrich Handel’s choral masterpiece and runs approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Messiah was composed by George Friedrich Handel (1685-1759) over the span of 24 days in August 1741. The first performance was given in Dublin, Ireland the following April with the composer conducting. The texts for the oratorio were compiled by Charles Jennens, an English librettist.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of a Messiah Sing, Priscilla French, concert organizer, explains, “Messiah Sings are a tradition in many communities during the Christmas season. Singers of all ranks are invited to sing through the Christmas portion (Part I) of Handel’s most famous oratorio, Messiah, with no prior rehearsal.  It’s kind of a ‘happening’—great fun and one of the best ways I know to celebrate the true meaning behind the Christmas season. Bring your friends and family and your own score and join us for this glorious occasion.”

Participating choruses

Amare Cantare, Community Chorus of South Berwick, Granite State Choral Society, New Hampshire Youth Chorus, New Hampshire Choral Society, Portsmouth Pro Musica, Rockingham Choral Society, Seacoast Choral Society, Seacoast Community Chorus, and York Singers.

Featured conductors

Conductors for The Music Hall event will come from the ranks of conductors of all the participating choruses: Catherine Beller-McKenna, Harry Moon, Seth Hurd, Madelyn Gearheart, Priscilla French, Andrew Gaydos, Nancy Brown, Wendell S. Purrington, and William Wieting.

Orchestral accompaniment

On stage, the singers will have orchestral accompaniment by: Lynne McMahon, Melissa Waterhouse, violins;  Sally Wituszynski, viola; Gary Hodges, violoncello;  John Stewart, contrabass;  Margaret Herlehy, Duncan MacCallum, oboe;  Adam Gallant, John MacLeod, trumpet; Christopher Vinciguerra, timpani, and Robert Littlefield, piano.

Featured soloists

Gina Connolly, soprano; Morgan McCurdy, mezzo-soprano; Wendell S. Purrington, tenor; and Bill Dean, baritone


Jardiniere Florist

Evening Sponsor

94.9 WHOM

Season Sponsor

River House Restaurant

American Treasure Sponsor


To purchase tickets:

Messiah Sing! takes place at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater on Tuesday, December 20, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online.

About The Music Hall

The Music Hall is a performing arts center featuring curated entertainment from around the world in two theaters in its downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire campus—one, a landmark 1878 Victorian theater, the other the intimate Music Hall Loft around the corner. Acclaimed signature series bring top authors and artists to both stages, while HD broadcasts and independent film fill both screens. A radio show broadcast on NH Public Radio originates here. This dynamic arts center urges patrons to Explore + Learn via master classes, post film panel discussions, and matinees for children. An anchor cultural organization in this historic working seaport, The Music Hall is one of downtown Portsmouth’s biggest employers and largest contributors to the regional economy: The Music Hall and its patrons contribute $6.3 million annually to the local economy through show and visitor related spending. The Music Hall is 501c3 nonprofit managed by a professional staff with the assistance of a volunteer board.  Though global in the scope of its artists and programs, The Music Hall operates independently with the support of 3,000 members, 300 business supporters and 40 community partners. Welcoming more than 100,000 patrons (including 20,000 children) each year from the tri-state area and beyond, The Music Hall is the region’s center for the performing arts, literature and education…easy to get to, impossible to forget.

“the beating cultural heart of New Hampshire’s seacoast” Boston Globe

More Holiday Events

Visit www.TheMusicHall.org to check out other holiday shows and www.vintagechristmasnh.org for information on Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth.

(603) 436-2400
24-hour Film Line:
(603) 436-9900
Business Office:
(603) 433-3100