The sounds of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” will fill the First United Methodist Church Friday at 8 p.m., when the Dallas Arts District Chorale performs the 265-year-old work.

Admission is free, a gift from the Murchison Foundation, in cooperation with The Dallas Arts District, Trinity Valley Community College and Lakeland Community Concerts.

Jeffery Moore, Assistant to the Artistic Director for the chorale, said the presentation includes the first portion of Messiah, the part generally associated with the Christmas season.

“We’ll do one additional aria and the Hallelujah Chorus,” Moore said, “because a lot of people don’t feel they’ve heard Messiah unless it’s included.”

Moore said the Dallas-based group has 25 voices. Because of their relatively small size, they are able to travel to numerous locations and perform in many settings.

The guest conductor for the orchestra and choir will be Constantina Tsolainou, former Director of Choral Activity at Southern Methodist University, now at Columbus State University in Georgia.

The soloists are Bronwen Forbay of South Africa, soprano, Katrina Burggraf-Kledas, mezzo-soprano, Randall Umstead, tenor and Mark McCrory, bass.

Moore said Forbay has won major competitions in Africa and the United States. She is currently completing her doctorate at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

McCrory, based in McKinney is a solo artist and opera singer. Moore said, “He has appeared all over the country and this year is scheduled to appear twice at the Dallas Opera.”

The First United Methodist Church is located at 225 Lovers Lane, Athens.

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