Q. Why December 26th?
A. The sing-along is held annually on the Sunday after Christmas. In the Anglican and Lutheran churches, the Christmas season begins on December 25th and continues through January 5th (thus the 12 days of Christmas). This event lets us continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus even after all the stores have taken down their decorations!
Q: Hasn't it been at 3:00 p.m. in previous years?
A: Yes - thanks for noticing! Because Christmas is on a Saturday this year, there's no time to schedule an orchestra rehearsal before Sunday the 26th, so the orchestra and soloists will rehearse on Sunday this year, just before the performance. We needed a little extra time, thus 4pm.
Q: If I attend, do I have to sing?
A: No; all are invited to sing, but you are also welcome to just come listen.
Q: Where is the "historic sanctuary"?
A: The Historic Sanctuary is the building attached to the bell tower, on Main Street. There are three entrances: at the base of the bell tower, at the top of the stairs in the Memorial Garden on Rock St. (there is also a wheelchair-accessible ramp there), or via the glass door entrance from the parking lot on Rock St.
Q: How much of Messiah will we sing?
A: We will sing all of Part I (Christmas portion) plus the Hallelujah Chorus.
Q: Who will sing the solos?
A: We use section leaders from the St. Helena's Chancel Choir, and other experienced singers from the area. If you have sung Messiah solos before, and you're interested in auditioning for any of them, contact the director, Whit Matteson, at email@example.com.
Q: Will there be an orchestra?
A: We will be accompanied by Dr. Susan Matteson, organist, and a string quartet!
Q: How long will it take?
A: It takes just over an hour to sing through everything.
Q: How much does it cost to attend? Do I need a ticket or a reservation?
A: It is free to all, as part of St. Helena's music ministry to the community. No ticket required, just show up and sing. All are welcome!
Q: Will we sit in sections?
A: We will have designated areas for each section (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) and cues will be given toward the designated area; but you are also welcome to sit with family and friends, or bring a group from your choir and all sit together, anywhere in the room!
Q: Will you have extra scores?
A: YES! Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, we have scores available to lend.
Q: Which edition of Messiah will you be using?
A: The scores we have for loaning are the Van Camp edition, published by Lorenz. This edition corrects around 100 errors from the old 1912 G. Schirmer scores that we've all used for years. But you can bring any edition you have.
Q: Where can I buy a score?
A: They are often in stock locally at RBC/Pepper Music, or you can order from many online sites. Try jwpepper.com, sheetmusicplus.com, or musiciansfriend.com and search for Messiah.
Q: Do you need instrumentalists?
A: We have a string quartet (1st and 2nd violin, viola, and cello) and oboe. If you play an instrument, know the part, and want to play, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.