Annual 'Messiah Sing' returns to Middlebury

Join in at the annual Messiah Sing this year on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2 p.m., at the Middlebury Congregational Church.` Photo / James P. Blair

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Congregational Church once again hosts the area’s annual “Messiah Sing” that each year attracts hundreds of singers and players from throughout Addison County and beyond. Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus, leads the sing-along of this famous work by George Frederic Handel for choir and orchestra.

Come join friends and neighbors for a joyous afternoon of community music-making at the Middlebury Congregational Church, beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23. Singers, instrumentalists and all who enjoy music are warmly welcomed to sing and play, or simply to watch and listen. A $5-10 contribution ($10-20/family) is requested at the door.

This year’s reading continues the tradition of featuring soloists drawn from Middlebury and other communities throughout Vermont, with Jessica Allen, Leila McVeigh, Louise Whalen Wright, Erin Grainger, Jim Wright, Adam Hall and Jonathon Landell.

Solo numbers will be accompanied by string players from our nearby towns, villages and extended families, including David Gusakov, Molly Bidwell, Hilary Hatch, Emily Sunderman, Carter Lee and Robert Battey. Jenny Bower, organist at the Vergennes Congregational Church, returns to play harpsichord, a hand-crafted keyboard built by Robert Hicks of Lincoln. A listing of chorus works may be found on the community chorus web page at

This tradition has been going on since December 1984, when Middlebury’s first Messiah Sing took place. Nearly every year since then, the Messiah Sing has become a joyous community event, now attracting singers and orchestra players who arrive at the historic Congregational Church to make music together on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas each year.

Chorus music and orchestra parts (for strings and oboe/flute) are provided, as we read many of the finest choruses from this beloved oratorio. If you have your own copy of the Messiah, bring it along. If you plan to play in the orchestra, bring a music stand and arrive 15 minutes early. The Middlebury Community Chorus provides refreshments for all to enjoy during intermission. For more information, email or leave a message at 989-7355.

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Addison County Independent