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Annual sing-along 'Messiah' set in San Ramon

Performance is Dec. 18 at Community Center

'Tis the season to don finery and join in the lusty singing of the Hallelujah Chorus along with trained choral groups.

The San Ramon Arts Foundation presents the opportunity this weekend, with the annual sing-along performance of Handel's "Messiah" on Sunday.

The performance will feature the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, along with music director Timothy Smith and choral director Dean Christman.

The show is set for 7 p.m. Sunday in the Fountain Room at the Community Center, 12501 Alcosta Blvd. in San Ramon. Tickets and librettos cost $10 each. For more information, visit the event webpage.

"Messiah" was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, a German composer who settled in London, with a script from the King James Bible and the Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer. It gained in popularity through the years and it is now one of the most frequently performed vocal works.

Handel composed "Messiah" in 24 days, according to www.mormontabernaclechoir.org, barely sleeping or eating. When he finished the Hallelujah Chorus, he reportedly said, "I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself seated on His throne, with His company of Angels."

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