I can’t believe I’ve come this far and never participated in a Sing-along Messiah. In the first half of my life I spent many years in choirs and loved being surrounded by the swell of voices singing different parts. The fact that I was second soprano might be responsible for my love of singing harmony (that and the Beatles).
I have enjoyed performances of the Messiah in years past but this was a completely new experience. As my adventures at open mics and song circles have always affirmed, there is nothing quite like participating.
So this is how it went: At the door I was given a score of Handel’s Messiah. There was a small chamber-sized orchestra at the front and everyone was seated according to their vocal parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). I was thankful to be surrounded by strong singers. It allowed me to drop out every so often when my sight-reading or note-finding abilities lagged behind, then join in when I could. This was good since I hadn’t had time to do much preparation or practice my part in advance.
If you’d like to prepare for the experience, one good tip (in addition to listening to a recorded version) is to visit a site that separates out the different parts so you can hear yours, for example: http://www.cyberbass.com/Major_Works/Handel_GF/Handel_Messiah.htm
Definitely want to make this an annual tradition!