The Hillsdale College Music Department will perform “Messiah” Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. at College Baptist Church. The per­for­mance will last two and a half hours.

The music department per­forms Messiah every four years. James Holleman, Chairman and Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Music, Choirs, and Orchestra, began the cycle in 2000. This ensures that every student who attends Hillsdale will see or par­tic­ipate in “Messiah” once.

“It is a coin­ci­dence that it always an election year. I am not trying to make any grand state­ments,” Holleman said with a laugh.

“Messiah,” written by George Handel in 1741 is an ora­torio, or dra­matic com­po­sition per­formed by an orchestra, soloists, and a choir. About 150 stu­dents will par­tic­ipate in the choir, 25 stu­dents have solos, and stu­dents hold all first chair posi­tions in the orchestra.

Holleman said “Messiah” is a sig­nif­icant piece because it is a bib­lical nar­rative and has great meaning for the Hillsdale com­munity.

For the first time, this year all soloists are stu­dents. Alumni Nick Nestorak ’10 is also a soloist.

“We wanted the per­for­mance to be a product of the department,” Holleman said.

In the first two cycles of “Messiah” the soloists were all faculty and guest artists. In 2008 the department felt it had enough talent to use stu­dents. Each faculty still had a cameo.

“There was a lot of buzz after the 2008 cycle. Stu­dents were excited to hear their friends,” Holleman said.

To audition, stu­dents had to be enrolled in voice lessons, but did not nec­es­sarily have to par­tic­ipate in chamber choir. The majority of soloists, however, are in chamber choir.

Thirteen hundred people have already reserved the free tickets for “Messiah.” Although the shows are already sold old, Holleman encourages stu­dents without tickets to arrive early at the per­for­mance as tickets may become available.