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'Messiah' Sing-In turns spectators into performers of classic oratorio

A holiday tradition for music lovers who’d rather participate than sit still is in its 56th year at the University of Virginia.

The “Messiah” Sing-In begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Cabell Hall Auditorium. Singers from the community will be seated in sections according to vocal part — soprano, alto, tenor and bass — along with members of University Singers, the UVa Chamber Singers, the Virginia Glee Club and the Virginia Women’s Chorus. Vocalists who do not have their own copies of the score will be able to find them at the event.

The orchestra will sit on stage; instrumentalists will come from the community, with members of the Charlottesville Symphony at UVa and other local professional musicians serving as principals. Community musicians who want to participate are asked to sign up in advance, and orchestral parts will be made available in advance.

Listeners who’d like to hear the rehearsal and performance will be seated in the loge and balcony.

Donald Loach founded the event in 1968 — one of the first in the country — and led it for 50 years before handing off the baton to Michael Slon, who will lead Tuesday’s participants.

Tickets are $10; students get in for $5. Get them in person at the UVa Arts Box Office, online at or by phone at (434) 924-3376.


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