The International Music Foundation presents:


A Chicago holiday tradition since 1976, the Do-It-Yourself Messiah brings together a world-class conductor and soloists, an all-volunteer orchestra of local professionals and amateur musicians and thousands of chorus/audience in a thrilling performance of Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah.

Maestro, orchestra and chorus set to begin




The libretto of Messiah was given to George Frideric Handel by a patron, Charles Jennens, but the biblical passages were probably chosen by Jennens’ private chaplain, a Rev. Pooley. Jennens wanted it presented during Passion Week, although today it is most frequently performed during Advent. Handel composed the oratorio in just 25 days, between August 22 and September 14, 1741, a remarkable achievement.

According to contemporary reports, Handel’s popularity in London at the time was dimming. He accepted an invitation from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to present a season of oratorio performances in Dublin, which began in December 1741. Handel decided to first test his Messiah in public at the New Musick Hall on April 13, 1742, seven months after completion. It was immediately acclaimed, and the next year Messiah was performed in London at Covent Garden.

The music of Handel comes to life in Chicago every Christmas with his magnificent Messiah performed by an audience of thousands, featuring world-class soloists and a full orchestra of local amateur and professional musicians, all volunteering their time and talent.

This season marks the 45th year of The Do-It-Yourself Messiah. This Chicago tradition began when the late Al Booth, founder of the International Music Foundation, brought to America the musical heritage of the parishioners of a small country church in southern England. You – the chorus, the conductor, the soloists, and the orchestra – will fill this hall with glorious sounds first heard in the New Musick Hall on Fishamble Street, Dublin, in 1742.


The International Music Foundation, in cooperation with the Yamaha Corporation and Hal Leonard, Inc., has made it easy for you to enjoy the sing-along experience to the maximum.

There are 17 choruses in the Messiah- and they are all glorious! And to make the most of them, we’ve produced a series of Choral Tutors to help you learn your part- soprano, alto, tenor, and bass.

The Choral Tutors are available in compact disc format. Each recording highlights your part. All you have to do is listen to your part while following along in the score, then sing-along to get familiar with ALL parts of the Messiah (G. Schirmer edition).


The Choral Tutors CD and score are available from:

Handel’s Do-It-Yourself Messiah Choral Tutor lets singers create family or community productions of Handel’s holiday classic.

Parts for 17 Messiah choruses have been digitally recorded (accompanied by the Yamaha Clavinova), and follow the G. Schirmer edition of Handel’s masterpiece.

Each voicing (soprano, alto, tenor, bass–SABT) has its own audio.

Voicings are sold separately, or in specially priced groups of four (one of each voicing).
Performers Music and Music Dispatch have these CDs (not to mention the Messiah score) available at the following suggested retail prices:

  • #00505051 Soprano CD $18
  • #00505053 Alto CD $18
  • #00505055 Tenor CD $18
  • #00505057 Bass CD $18

G.Schirmer Complete Vocal Score – Handel’s Messiah:

  • #50323760 Complete Vocal Score $8.99

Quantity Discounts Available

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