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A local production of Handel’s “Messiah” at Renewal City Church on Dec. 15 will bring a new twist to the age-old tradition: Audience members will be invited to sing along with the choir.

Event organizer David Taylor said the informal setting of a sing-along is a “good way to reintroduce it to more people who might not otherwise come.”

Taylor said this production is a revival of a local tradition that has been dormant for about six years.

Longview Community Church sponsored a production of the “Messiah” for almost 60 years. The event has transitioned in recent years to a symphonic concert that features about three “Messiah” movements alongside other Christmas tunes.

Taylor, who played in several of the original Community Church productions, said he decided to bring the concert back to the community after finding a “beautiful venue” for it at Renewal City Church. (Longview Community Church could not be used as a venue because its symphonic concert already was scheduled for the year.)

The church is located in the old Roxy Theater at 1101 Commerce Ave., in Longview.

“I’ve missed the full ‘Messiah’ for six years, and I valued very much the tradition in Longview,” Taylor said. “I’m just very happy there was an opportunity to bring it back into Longview’s culture and tradition.”

The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is free. During the concert, Renewal City Church will take a collection for Ambassadors of Hope Kenya, a benefit organization for orphans and widows in Kenya.

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