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West Village Chorale Celebrates Christmas Season with Song

By Kayla Epstein | December 9, 2013 3:44pm
 The West Village Chorale kicked off the 2013 Christmas season on Sunday with an audience sing of Handel's Messiah.
West Village Chorale
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GREENWICH VILLAGE — The West Village Chorale kicked off its holiday season with a "Messiah" sing-along Sunday, the first in a series of Christmas events planned month.

About 240 people packed into Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square South to sing Handel's holiday classic, an annual tradition led by members of the 42-year-old chorale and conductor Michael Conley.

“The season makes people hungry for music,” said John Herzfeld, spokesman for the West Village Chorale.

Emily Jacobs, 30, attended the sing-along with her husband and 21-month-old daughter to keep alive a tradition she shared with her mother before she died.

"This is something I did with my mom — it was a Christmas tradition,” Jacobs said. "This year, we’re starting a tradition of our own."

Elizabeth Daniele, 56, has been attending the chorale's events for at least a dozen years.

"I sing the parts I know — I listen for my part," the Queens resident said.

The sing-along charged $10 admission as a fundraiser for the chorale, which has 50 members, nearly all unpaid volunteers.

Other upcoming events include two Christmas concerts at Judson Memorial Church on Dec. 13 and 15, as well as a caroling walk on Dec. 21.

In previous years, the chorale only held one concert, but organizers decided to add a second one after last year's was so popular that people were turned away at the door.

The singers will perform an eclectic mix of songs, including a “15th-century tune with a '20s jazz spin," said Davis Folger, a 60-year-old-tenor with the group. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $10 for students.

On Dec. 21, the chorus expects to draw hundreds of New Yorkers of all ages (and singing abilities) to a free caroling walk through the West Village. Revelers will meet at Judson Memorial Church at 3 p.m. before splitting up into groups and hitting the streets to perform holiday classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Last year’s caroling walk attracted about 360 people, Herzfeld said.