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COLUMBUS, Miss. – (WCBI) For centuries now, Handel’s Messiah  has been performed worldwide by orchestras and singers. In the spirit of the season, Messiah is set to return to the Golden Triangle. Its the 13th year for what has become a tradition in the Friendly City.

Since Annunciation Catholic Church began presenting the Messiah in 2001, music lovers have looked forward each year to a night of beautiful singing and music. Organizers James Allen and Elizabeth Swartz are amazed at the success of what started in a humble way.

“We had sent letters to churches and everybody we could think of who might be interested. And to our very pleasant surprise we had 125 singers to show up on the first night,” said Allen.

“The Messiah to me is timeless, it is nothing but scripture and obviously God inspired,” said Swartz.

Swartz and Allen wanted to bring other churches and denominations together for a worshipful experience that was inclusive. Anyone who wanted to sing and could play an instrument was for the most part accepted.

“Elizabeth and I felt there was a need for a true community performance. Not just involving one church. But involving churches in the entire area. An ecumenical performance,” said Allen.

“We do bring in soloists. We have some soloists coming from the University of Montevallo and from Anniston Alabama, we’ve got orchestra members coming from Memphis, Tennessee and Starkville,” said Swartz.

A two hour choir rehearsal is usually scheduled for the night before the upcoming Tuesday night performance. Those gifted professional will be singing and playing those favorite pieces you have come to enjoy during this happy and festive season of the year.

“We start with the first chorus which is,” And The Glory of The Lord”. Then probably the second best known chorus is ” For Unto Us A Child Is Born,” said Allen.

“Well of course one of the things is the Hallelujah Chorus. Everybody looks forward to that,” said Swartz.

A much more lenghthy performance, the group Columbus Sings Messiah will condense the masterpiece into just a one hour performance.

There will be two performances of the Messiah presented at Annunciation Catholic Church on Tuesday night.  One at 6 pm and another at 8 pm.

Free tickets are available at The Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, First United Methodist Church, and Party and Paper.


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