The Bay Area Choral Society will initiate the Ilse Newell Concert Series with its performance of “Messiah,” George Frederic Handel's famous oratorio.

The 40-voice chorus, directed by Merel Young, with piano accompaniment provided by Janis Ramos, plus seven local soloists, will perform the Christmas portion, part I, of Handel's famous oratorio twice. The first performance will be at the First Methodist Church in Port St. Joe at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, with the second performance being performed at Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11.

Frederic Kahler will sing the opening tenor solos plus accompany two selections by playing the violin.

Other soloists include Mike Giere, Wesley Chesnut , Diane Peavy, Ann Comforter, Carla May and Penny Burgess.

Admission for each performance is a suggested donation of $5. For other Ilse Newell concerts, in January and February, the suggested donation will be $5.