After 79 straight years of presenting Handel’s “Messiah” locally at Third Baptist Church, Owensboro Choral Society will be taking a second consecutive year off due to COVID-19 concerns.
The first Owensboro performance was Dec. 7, 1941 — the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Since then, Messiah had become a tradition and was performed on a Sunday near the anniversary date of the bombing. The chorus is comprised of community members, some of which have been singing in this event since the 1960s.
Last year was the first time it hadn’t been performed. Dr. Connie Ford, director of the annual show, said it’s devastating to not be able to bring the show back again.
“I just didn’t see how I could responsibly hold the show in Third Baptist,” Ford said. “I was nervous of COVID and didn’t want to do anything dangerous.”
The Messiah also acts as a fundraiser for the Goodfellows Club and knowing the show hasn’t happened in two years, she wants to bring the tradition back not only for the community but also for them.