With most holiday sing-alongs, you simply show up, get over yourself, and open up whatever pipes you got, ideally greased by seasonal vodka-nog. The Sing-It-Yourself Messiah is not of this genre, because the Messiah in the title is an oratorio by Handel, that Handel, and the public is accountable for the evening-making Hallelujah portion, which you know from any number of commercials (the worst offender being a certain squeezable toilet paper, whose bears rejoice upon finding the ply necessary to shit in the woods). But rest easy: Performing backup is the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, along with soloists Heather Klein (soprano), Janet Campbell (mezzo-soprano), and Brian Thorsett (tenor), with everything held together by conductor Alden Gilchrist. For those who cannot, or should not, attempt Handel for the first time in the company of people who think it is bad form to pair Hallelujah" with the continence of bears, Gilchrist is holding a free Messiah Workshop on Dec. 19 at 10 a.m.
Sun., Dec. 20, 4 p.m., 2009