Members of Divertimento Orchestra and guest soloists Ania Hejnar, Beverly McArthur, Preston Smith and Thomas Franzky.

A classical musical performance of Handel’s Messiah will be performed in Kemptville on December 8 at St. James Anglican Church, at both 2 and 7:30 pm. This work is in English, unlike most choral music written during the Baroque period. It was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742. Based on Scripture, the words in the Messiah were written at a time when religious music was most appropriate for the Lenten season, the 40 days before Easter, when people were reflecting, fasting and praying. In more recent times, the Messiah and its famous Hallelujah chorus is most often performed at Christmas time.

The North Grenville Concert Choir is a community group of singers that was initially formed in 1997 to perform the Messiah with members of Divertimento Orchestra. They have sung the Messiah 14 times over the years, as well as works by Gilbert and Sullivan, Broadway hits, and other classical pieces, including Bach’s Magnificat and Masses by Mozart and Vierne; they have also sung with the Kemptville Youth Musical Theater last year in “Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

Although this is a community group that sing for fun, the fun will be had by the audience who hears them sing. A selection from the Messiah has been chosen to highlight the talents of the choir, the guest soloists and the members of the Divertimento Orchestra (pictured). A third performance will be held Sunday, December 9, at 3 pm at Woodroffe United Church. Tickets are available on-line at, at Brewed Awakenings in Kemptville, or at the door. Info:


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