The Blessing of Music

Editor’s note: In “The 12 Blessings Of Christmas” Nov/Dec 2012, Ellen Michaud defines her musical blessing as the Sunday afternoon before Christmas, when more than 200 community members gather together to sing Handel’s Messiah at Middlebury Congregational Church in Middlebury, Vermont. Below is an excerpt from the story and videos of the 2009 Messiah Sing performance.

Community members singing Handel's Messiah at the Middlebury Congregational Church. Photo by Ernest Longey.

Chattering madly with friends and neighbors, they’ll pour into the church, unwrap their mufflers, grab a score of Handel’s Messiah from a pile stacked by the door, and slide into a pew.

Everyone in the community is welcome to come and sing or bring their instruments and join the orchestra. There are no rehearsals, only a couple of carols to warm up. Soloists will include community members like tenor François Clemmons, who played “Officer Clemmons” for decades on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when we were kids.
(Read more in “The 12 Blessings of Christmas,” Nov/Dec 2012 issue.)

Get in the holiday spirit with these videos from Middlebury Congregational Church’s 2009 Messiah Sing.