Guelph’s favourite Messiah is back

GUELPH – Just before Christmas on Dec. 18 at 7:30pm join the Guelph Chamber Choir (GGC) as it returns to the comfort and pristine acoustics of the River Run Centre in downtown Guelph, presenting Handel’s masterpiece, Messiah.

The condensed performance will include all of the beloved choruses and arias within a 90-minute program. A perfect Messiah for both first-timers and old-timers.

“We are thrilled to be performing again and have already offered three different concert programs since the end of August to tremendous audience response,” says conductor Charlene Pauls.

“With all of this singing taking place, we are in excellent form as we prepare Handel’s Messiah for our live and virtual audiences at the River Run Centre.”

A few members the choir have sung Messiah for almost all of the 40 years that the choir has performed it in Guelph, according to a Dec. 2 press release. In contrast, this year the choir has several new members who will be performing it for the first time.

“The work continues to feel fresh as we dig into the drama of Handel’s music, and I must say that after a year’s hiatus, we are all more excited than ever to share this music with our audience. We hope you will join us,” says Pauls.

This year, the choir will be joined by a baroque orchestra and talented soloists, including one of its two GCC Emerging Artists in the inaugural year of the program, Autumn Debassige – alto.

A performer of First Nations heritage, she shares her GGC solo debut with Elizabeth Lepock – Soprano, a recent graduate of the doctoral program at Western University who is also Debassige’s voice teacher.

The choir will also be welcoming back to the Messiah stage Lawrence Wiliford – tenor – a seasoned performer in demand across North America for his exceptional artistry.

Rounding out the soloists in his first performance with the choir is Jeremy Ludwig – bass – a sought-after soloist and award-winning voice teacher based in Hamilton.

COVID-19 guidelines will be followed, including proof of full vaccination, audience and choir distancing, and masking.

GGC will also be offering a live-stream option for those who prefer it.

Tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for those under 30. Live-stream tickets are $25.

All tickets are available at or by calling 519-763-3000.

To discover more, visit the Guelph Chamber Choir’s website at or email

The Guelph Chamber Choir thanks the City of Guelph, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Foundation for their on-going support.