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Is anyone in Wilmington presenting a sing-along Messiah this Christmas?

Ben Steelman

Somebody, somewhere, will probably be singing along with a recording of Handel’s beloved oratorio. As far as we can tell, however, nobody is scheduling a participatory “Messiah” in Southeastern North Carolina.

As the questioner noted, the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra regularly presented a “Walk-In Messiah” with help from the University of North Carolina Wilmington Concert Choir from 1978 to 1998 at UNCW.

The trouble was, according to conductor Steven Errante,¬†not enough folks were walking in. In later years, some sections would be woefully short of singers. As a result, Errante said diplomatically, “The quality of the music got questionable.”

Since then, the orchestra has performed only prepared “Messiahs” with groups such as the Wilmington Choral Society and the Cape Fear Chorale. Errante said he would consider¬†performing a matinee in some future season with a “walk-in” format. No plans are in the works at this time, though.

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