First 'Messiah' of December (39710)
First 'Messiah' of December (39709)

What better way to get in the holiday spirit than hearing Handel’s “Messiah”? Many a good, professional performance of Handel’s “Messiah” can be heard around town during the holidays, but devotees of the Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus return every year for this great classic and its famous “Hallelujah Chorus.” That happens this year at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of S. Oxford Street and Lafayette Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Tickets are $20 at the door. For more info, contact

Professional musicians, including four soloists, four guest artists and a small baroque orchestra, will augment the 32 voices of the chorus. The $20 donation includes a generous spread of refreshments, many homemade.

Now in its 41st year, the Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus is dedicated to bringing music of the “Great Choral Tradition” to a neighborhood where it is seldom heard. It is likewise dedicated to bringing music of the African-American spiritual tradition to those familiar with it and those who are not. This cultural resource is not well known outside its home neighborhood, largely because it has not been well publicized.

In June 2013, the chorus will present “Choral Music of the African-American Experience.” Gospel music, spirituals and anthems will be sung by the chorus and eight professional soloists, with professional piano and organ accompanists. A similar concert in 2004 attracted a large audience and was well received. Members of churches throughout Brooklyn who are well acquainted with gospel and spiritual music are expected to attend, but the chorus also hopes to attract others who haven’t experienced this inspiring music.