For the fifth year in a row, the Cortez community will come together this December to sing a famous Christmas choral work.
The “Messiah Sing-in” is a chance for any musically inclined Cortez residents to sing the “Hallelujah chorus,” as well as a few other pieces from Handel’s “Messiah.” The event will feature several soloists and a small chamber orchestra, but everyone is invited to join the choir during their sections. The event will be held at Cortez First Methodist Church starting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 4.
“It’s an opportunity for people who say, ‘I’ve always wanted to sing this, but I don’t have time to practice,’” organizer Patricia Faulkner said.
Of course, the roughly 17 soloists and 12 musicians who will be performing with the choir have been practicing since September. They range in age from 11 to 92, but Faulkner said they all share “tremendous” talent. The soloists will sing 16 sections of the oratorio, while the orchestra will play two instrumental pieces. The choir will join in on the choruses “And the glory of the Lord,” “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,” “For unto us a child is born,” “Glory to God,” “Behold the Lamb of God” and, of course, “Hallelujah.”
People wanting to join the choir do not have to sign up in advance, but Faulkner asks that they show up at 6 p.m. and bring their own music, if possible. There will be music available at the church, but the supply is limited. Faulkner emphasized that the sing-in is open to anyone, regardless of age, religion or singing ability.
“It’s about participation, not perfection,” she said.
Although the sing-in has always been held at the Methodist church, the church itself does not organize it. Faulkner said she gets phone calls every year from people asking whether they need to be members of the church in order to sing, but she always tells them that’s not the case.
Last year, about 35 people participated in the choir, singing in front of an audience of 70. Faulkner is hoping for a bigger crowd this year, since it’s the fifth anniversary of the sing-in.
The sing-in will start with a greeting from Methodist pastor Will Morris and a special tribute to Handel by Dottie Wayt. After the “Hallelujah” chorus, which ends the sing-in, there will be a reception with refreshments for choir and audience alike.
Some of this year’s soloists have participated in several sing-ins, while others are new. Adam Sattley, Ron Snyder, Randy Jorgensen, Madelyn Smith, Thayer Plewe, Chandler Snyder, Brooke Snyder, Whitney Pack, Carol Anderson, Gloria Decker, Carolyn Witt, Gwen Tanner, Vaughn Cook, Howard Pack, Ruth Wilson Francisco, Jason Smith and Chris Snyder will all be singing solo parts.