The 79th annual performance of Handel's "Messiah" will take place Sunday at Third Baptist Church, 527 Allen St.

The show begins at 2:30 p.m.

The Owensboro Choral Society has presented the show annually since Dec. 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. It has since become a tradition for this area and is performed each year on the Sunday nearest to that date.

Connie Ford, OCTC professor of music, directs the chorus each year that is made up of community members, including some who have been participating since the 1960s.

The soprano soloist is Lesley Ferguson, an Owensboro native now living in Cincinnati. The alto soloist is Emily Malone, also an Owensboro native. The tenor soloist is Jonathan Poland, who serves as worship leader at Heritage Baptist Church. The bass soloist is Aaron Eaves, a recent graduate from Westminster Choir College.

The organist is James Wells, director of music at St. Stephen Cathedral, and the harpsichordist is local piano instructor Joyce Goodwin, who is organist/pianist at First Baptist Church and accompanist for the Kentucky Youth Chorale. The chorus will also be accompanied by a 13-piece orchestra.

This performance kicks off the Christmas season, Ford has previously said.

Another unique aspect of the "Messiah" performance is its long relationship with the Goodfellows of Owensboro.

The Goodfellows Club of Owensboro has been helping the underserved in Daviess County for more than 100 years. It was founded by Lawrence Hager Sr., publisher of what was then the Owensboro Inquirer, and the club was carried on by Hager family's Public Life Foundation and the Messenger-Inquirer. Every dollar that is raised by Goodfellows goes to assist children in need.

A free-will offering is taken during the performance each year, which is given to the club. Donations to the Owensboro Choral Society will also help ensure the continued performance of the "Messiah" in the Owensboro community.

"It's all for the Goodfellows," Ford said. "That connection has been since day one."

She said the Goodfellows are vital to the community.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.