Messiah Sing- and Play-Along

In the chorus “For Unto Us a Child is Born” in his Messiah, Handel sets the syllable “born” to a chain of 56 rapid notes—which actually can make you sound something like a woman in labor if you don’t read ahead in the score and pace your breathing. Just a little tip from someone who’s participated in one of the popular Sing- and Play-Along performances that dot the holiday season. Karen P. Thomas leads one tonight at University Unitarian, and the Northwest Chorale hosts one Tuesday in Shoreline. Bring your instrument (and a music stand), or come to sing; bring a score if you have one (Thomas suggests the Novello edition, the NC prefers Schirmer). Though most of Messiah’s text deals with Christ’s life and death—the work was in fact intended for Easter—the radiance and sparkle of the Nativity section has made it a Christmas tradition. And if the later stuff about stripes and iniquity and worms destroying this body can be a bit of a downer, it’s less so if you’re singing it yourself. (Also: St. Dunstan’s Church of the Highlands, 722 N. 145th St., 522-9853, $15. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 29.) GAVIN BORCHERT

Sat., Dec. 26, 7 p.m.; Tue., Dec. 29, 7 p.m., 2009

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