The Ilse Newell Fund for the Performing Arts is presenting the Bay Area Choral Society in concert this Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, performing Messiah, the popular oratorio by George F. Handel.

The Bay Area Choral Society has been anchoring the Ilse Newell concert series each year by performing the opening concert in December as well as the concluding program in the spring, with the exception lately of an additional concert in April.

This season's spring concert of the society will feature parts two and three of Messiah, the Crucifixion and Resurrection. 

After performing the Advent and Christmas portion of Messiah in December, the choral society, under the direction of maestro Merel Young, has been working hard to master the 10 choruses it will be singing. Also, nine soloists, all members of the chorus, will perform such familiar arias as "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth," "How Beautiful Are the Feet," "The Trumpet Shall Sound," and "Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow."

Soloists are Ginny Griner, Brooks Jones, Mike Giere, Wesley Chesnut, Carla May, Penny Burgess, John Nagy, Ann Comforter, and Diane Peevy. The chorus of 46 members, with two or three missing due to illness, should prove to be one of the best the choral society has had since its beginning. Janis Ramos provides the piano accompaniment.

The March 25 performance will be in the First United Methodist in Port St. Joe at 4 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola is the venue for the 4 p.m. performance on March 26. Admission is a suggested $5 donation at each location.