Messiah spark of holiday lore

Friday will mark the 10th anniversary performance of George Fredrick Handel’s Messiah at DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre, 132 N. Second St.

Handel’s most popular oratorio was first produced 247 years ago in Dublin, Ireland. The music of the Christmas section is a holiday tradition throughout the world.

This worldwide favorite has sparked a local tradition as well. The Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre has organized the Messiah performance every year since 1980 to raise money to save the theater.

Barb Kummerfeldt, the performance organizer, said, “For the past six years, the PET volunteers offer the performance free to their DeKalb County neighbors as a way to say ‘Thank you’ for the community support of the Egyptian Theatre.”

The 7:30 p.m. performance is traditionally led by community volunteers, members of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. NIU Music Professor Elwood Smith also will take the podium to conduct the performance for the tenth time.

In previous years, more than 500 have sung and attended the performances. No tickets are required; however, all those who wish to sing should bring their own music and share with others who might not have the Messiah score.

Participation is open to all interested singers and those who want to listen to the traditional music of Christmas, Kummerfeldt said.