Music — Holiday Pops Roundup

Holiday Pops Roundup

By Jeff Rapsis

Last week’s reference to a Messiah sing-along in Bedford as the only such event in the region this year brought a correction from the kind folks at Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 65 Sagamore St., where they will hold their annual Messiah sing-along on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m.

The sing-along is open to the public; free-will offerings will be donated to charity. The event features the full church choir, soloists, and instruments. For more information, please call the church at 623-3451.

By the way, Manchester is full of churches with excellent music programs that offer concerts and recitals all year round. If you’re involved in local church music and would like more people to know about upcoming public performances, send the info to

And now, here’s your final this-is-it last-chance listing of holiday concerts and events. With little more than a week left, there’s still plenty of local music to enjoy.

• That other sing-along: Another Messiah sing-along this year will take place on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 2:30 p.m. at Bedford Presbyterian Church, 4 Church Road in Bedford. The free concert featuring sacred and holiday music by Georg Frideric Handel will include a sing-along of sections of Messiah, the composer’s famous oratorio and the Jesus Christ Superstar of the 18th century. Open to all music lovers, the performance is designed for amateur, professional or “in the shower” singers, and for those who prefer merely to listen. In lieu of ticket charges, donations will be gratefully accepted at the door. Soloists are Angelynne Hinson, soprano and Melinda McMahon, mezzo-soprano, tenor Edward Hinson and David Cushing, bass. The performance also features Bedford Presbyterian Music Director, organist Barbara Flocco and conductor Nancy M. Brown. For more information call 472-5871 or visit 

• Last-minute pops: In Concord, the New Hampshire Symphony brings its own dose of holiday cheer to the Merrimack Valley with a concert of holiday favorites on Sunday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord. Conductor Kenneth Kiesler leads the group in favorites that might be just what you need for a little last-minute infusion of holiday cheer. Tickets are $15 to $39, with discounts for seniors and students. For more info, call 225-1111 or visit

• Dueling concerts: Call it the great holiday pops stare-down. Just as the New Hampshire Symphony is playing a holiday pops concert in Concord (see above), so too will the Concord-based Granite State Symphony at exactly the same time — Sunday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m., only in City Auditorium across town. Conductor Robert Babb will lead the group in holiday favorites. Tickets are $10 to $25, with student/senior discounts. All kids age 12 and under can get in for $5 each. For tickets, call 226-4776 or visit

• Calling all future soloists: Hey high school musicians, how’d you like to be backed up by a full symphony orchestra? Make the fantasy come true by entering the New Hampshire Philharmonic’s annual Youth Concerto Competition. If you win, you’ll be a featured soloist at a concert during the orchestra’s 2005-06 season. It’s the third year of the competition, which is open to students who are New Hampshire residents and who have not yet entered their senior year in high school. Applicants are invited to submit a CD for review by the Philharmonic prior to the deadline of Jan. 14. Finalists for the competition will be announced on Jan. 30. During the final competition, which will take place at the Manchester Community School in Manchester on March 5, 2005, each participant will play a classical piece of his or her own choosing before a jury of professional music educators. Applications are available at the orchestra’s website, The winner of the competition will be announced at the close of Philharmonic Week on March 12, 2005. Last year’s competition resulted in finalists from Hanover, Plymouth, Bow, Hooksett, Derry and Hollis. Previous winners of the Philharmonic’s youth concerto competition are Shailey Devito, flute, Derry (2003 winner) and Ellen Flanagan, violin, Hanover (2004 winner). 

— Jeff Rapsis

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