12-12-12-cumberland-oratorio.gifSince 1350, carols have been used to spread the joy of Christmas. In this tradition, each year the Cumberland Oratorio Singers perform George Frederic Handel’s Messiah Sing! There are two performances this year. One is on Saturday Dec. 15 at Galatia Presbyterian Church at 6 p.m. and the other is on Sunday, Dec. 16, also at Galatia Presbyterian Church at 4 p.m.

For many people Handel’s Messiah is a meaningful part of the holiday season. What is special about this production is that the public is invited not only to attend, but to participate as well. Those looking to participate should come ready to have a good time and sing with gusto. Handel, a German composer from the 1700s, is well known for his English choral work Messiah, which he wrote in 1742. The piece was not received with great popularity immediately, but it is now one of the most widely preformed choral pieces in the western world. Although Messiah was originally an Easter production, it is an integral part of the holiday season for many.

This special free concert performed in tandem by the Cumberland Oratorio Singers and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra brings together two of the community’s top-notch performance groups to deliver a stunning and meaningful performance that reminds both listeners and participants of the true meaning of Christmas.

This performance is a great fit for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Cumberland Oratorio Singers and something that has become a local tradition in itself.

“We are always open to collaboration with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and developing our relationship with them,” said Cumberland Oratorio Singers Director Dr. Michael Martin.

Always looking to deliver a stellar performance, Martin loves this particular event because it is a chance to give back to the community and connect with people who share his love of music and performing.

“The organizations, the people and the musical freedom,” are some of the things he loves best about the unique collaboration with the FSO.

While the Cumberland Oratorio Singers definitely fill a niche in the local music scene, the group is always looking to add new talent to its community group.

“Our goal is to keep growing and keep providing opportunities,” said Martin. Whether it is a retiree, a high school or college student or anyone in between, there is always room for another voice in the group.

Find out more about the Cumberland Oratorio singers at For more information about the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, visit the website at

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