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Performances of Handel's 'Messiah' abound in Tampa Bay area

Not only can you hear George Frideric Handel's Messiah performed this year, but you can sing along at two concerts if you've got the pipes. If you're already humming the joyous Hallelujah chorus, here are your options for perhaps the most famous Christmas standard, which debuted in 1742:

Pinellas Lutheran Choir: This one comes steeped in tradition. For the 25th consecutive year, the Pinellas Lutheran Choir presents the Advent and Christmas portions, with the Hallelujah chorus. The choir, which has roots in Valparaiso University in Indiana, has 48 members from 16 area churches, not all Lutheran, including three generations of one family. The concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday at Grace Lutheran Church St. Petersburg, 4300 16th St. N. Freewill offering. (727) 527-1168.

Clearwater Christian College: The choirs and orchestra of the college present the Christmas tradition at 7 p.m. today and Friday at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Campus Arts Auditorium, 2465 Drew St. $10, $8 seniors/students/military. (727) 726-1153.

Sing-along at Eckerd College: Join the Eckerd Concert Choir in a performance of the Christmas portion (and other selected choruses). Bring your own score or purchase one at the rehearsal for a modest fee. Rehearsal is at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, with the performance at 3. Call Marion Smith, director of choral music and the Eckerd College Ringers, for more information: (727) 864-8480. Eckerd College (Wireman Chapel), 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Freewill donation. (727) 864-7979.

Sing-along at Church of the Isles: Sing along with professional soloists, choruses and a keyboard artist. Performance includes all of Part One (The Birth) and the Hallelujah chorus at 4 p.m. Sunday at 200 24th Ave., Indian Rocks Beach. Free. (727) 595-1038.

Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church: The Tampa Oratorio Singers with the chancel choir present the Christmas portion at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 19 at 3501 San Jose St., Tampa. Freewill offering. (813) 247-3866; tostampa.org.

Art to Heart Messiah: The music is presented with more than 170 works of art, plus narration, at 4 p.m. Dec. 19. The First Presbyterian Church chancel choir performs the oratorio, accompanied by members of the Florida Orchestra. The Chancel Handbell Ringers also will perform. Freewill offering benefits St. Petersburg Free Clinic. First Presbyterian Church St. Petersburg, 701 Beach Drive NE. (727) 822-2031.

Performances of Handel's 'Messiah' abound in Tampa Bay area 12/01/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 3:30am]

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