Last night I attended a sing-along/play-along of Handel's Messiah with the Wasatch Chorale and a whole lot of other people. The concert was in a stake center building in Orem by Costco and we filled the entire place! The Chorale sat in the choir seats, the soloists sat in the front pew, the orchestra (volunteers) was situated in that mid-space between the chapel and cultural hall, and then there were more seats all the way to the back of the cultural hall and even some up on the stage. It was packed!
I went by myself and snagged a seat on the second row, right behind the soloists. The program was more like "selections" from the Messiah including seven chorus numbers and six solos. My favorite solo was "The Trumpet Shall Sound" which was sung by the bass soloist and accompanied by the organ and a trumpet soloist. It was awesome! I had never heard that solo before. Here's a video:
The trumpeter last night played what I think was a piccolo trumpet and he was awesome. I've wanted to attend a Messiah sing-along since I moved to Utah and I finally checked that off my list! Since I've been in lots of choirs I've actually learned (and memorized) four of the choruses we sang last night: "And the Glory of the Lord", "For Unto Us A Child is Born", "Glory to God in the Highest", and "The Hallelujah Chorus." The other few we did? They were less known by the audience but we staggered through them with the help of the Chorale and the soloists. Those were "His Yolk is Easy", "All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray", and "Worthy is the Lamb" which is the song that ends the oratorio, not the "Hallelujah Chorus". We still ended with the "Hallelujah Chorus" though because it's tradition.
The great thing about the Messiah is that isn't not actually a Christmas piece. It was debuted for an April performance so the work discusses Christ's greater mission, not just his birth. If you have never listened to the whole thing (I won't blame you; it's lengthy) I would encourage you to at least look up some of these choruses on YouTube. Merry Christmas!