Greater Elgin Sing-Along Messiah debuts Dec. 2

  • Maria Kanyova

    Maria Kanyova

  • The inaugural Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah on Friday, Dec. 2

    The inaugural Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah on Friday, Dec. 2

 
 
Updated 11/24/2022 12:26 AM

There's one holiday tradition that without fail Elgin resident Mally Miceli never misses: participating in a sing-along Messiah.

"For years, my family and I would trek to Chicago to participate in the annual sing-along," Miceli said. "About four years ago, we were driving back from the city and my daughter asked, 'why don't we do this in Elgin?'"

 

A longtime supporter of the local arts scene, Miceli was well aware of the award-winning musical and vocal talent in the greater Elgin community.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra both hold distinctions among their peers. Additionally, there are several noteworthy choirs at local churches and schools.

With her daughter's prompting, Miceli envisioned bringing these talents together in an annual event that showcases the music and vocal talent of the northwest suburbs, brings the community together to celebrate the holiday season, and benefits a local charity. She reached out to fellow arts supporters in the Elgin area and a committee of volunteers, co-chaired by Miceli and Dr. Robert Kania, chair of the music department at Judson University, was soon planning Elgin's first sing-along "Messiah."

This free event was originally set to debut in 2020 but was twice postponed due to the pandemic.

This year, the committee will enjoy the rewards of their hard work as hundreds gather in the Blizzard Theater at Elgin Community College on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m., for the inaugural Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah.

Attending the Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah is free, but reservations are required at www.ElginSing-AlongMessiah.org.

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Monetary donations to Food For Greater Elgin, a guest-choice food pantry, providing nutritious food to more than 23,000 people in need in Elgin, South Elgin, East Dundee, and West Dundee are encouraged, and can be made at the Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah website or at the event. No food donations will be accepted.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Judson University Civic Orchestra will join with the Judson University Choir, Larkin High School Concert Choir, Midwest Opera Theater, COTC Presbyterian -- Hoffman Estates, First Congregational UCC Elgin, Immanuel Lutheran -- Crystal Lake, and Westminster Presbyterian Church to perform favorite sections of Handel's "Messiah."

"Not only is this a great opportunity for our students to sing classics, like Handel's 'Messiah,' beside such wonderful musicians from around our community, but it is an opportunity for our students to be involved in an event that helps those that live in their own neighborhoods," said Meghan Pierson, choral director for U-46 schools. "We are honored and humbled to have been asked to perform in such an event."

Notable soloists from the Midwest will be featured. Soprano Maria Kanyova, a visiting artist teacher at Judson University's DeMoss Center for Worship and the general and artistic director of the Midwest Opera Theater, has performed roles with opera houses across the United States. Mezzo-soprano Katherine Menke, tenor Michael Wu, and lyric baritone Ashton D. Jones will also be featured.

Miceli stresses that one does not need to have any vocal experience to participate in the sing-along, in which audience members become part of the performance by joining in singing the choruses. Musical scores can be downloaded in advance on the Greater Elgin Sing-Along Handel's Messiah website, www.elginsing-alongmessiah.org, and will also be available at the door.

"Whether you sing in your church choir, grab the microphone at every karaoke event, keep your singing to the shower, or are too shy to sing in public, you can enjoy the Greater Elgin Sing-Along," Miceli said.

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