Lee's Summit Journal

Ready for holiday spirit? Community invited to ‘Messiah’ sing-along

William Baker will direct a community sing-along of Handel’s “Messiah.”
William Baker will direct a community sing-along of Handel’s “Messiah.” File photo

Whether you love to perform or prefer to sit on the sidelines and listen in, prepare for the ultimate holiday sing-along.

The Choral Foundation invites singers to come together at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit to perform the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah,” under the direction of William Baker.

“Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is the most loved work of classical music ever composed in the English language,” Baker said. “Over the years, it has become a custom to hold ‘Messiah’ sing-alongs.”

But it’s a first for Lee’s Summit, and Baker, founder of Summer Singers, is a little nervous about guessing crowd numbers — of either musicians or listeners.

“Well, there’s a Chief’s game, so I wouldn’t be surprised at 40 — or 300,” he said. “But you know, this is Lee’s Summit, with the Arts Council and the amazing orchestra, so I’d bet on the higher side.”

Beth Munce, Erica Seago, Sean Sweeden and Chris Munce are featured soloists, and singers will be accompanied by members of the Lee’s Summit Symphony.

No registration is required for The Messiah Sing-Along. Just show up at the church at Fourth and Grand in Lee’s Summit.

“And then we hope for the best,” Baker said with a laugh.

Musical scores will be available for purchase — with all proceeds going to charity — or singers can bring their own scores.

Many who will come to sing, Baker said, will be empty-handed but won’t need to purchase the score.

“Many just know it,” Baker said. “They know this music. It’s fun, it’s inspirational and it’s artistic.”

There will be no charge for admission but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit Hillcrest Transitional Housing.

And for that, the music community in Lee’s Summit says, “Hallelujah.”