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Roger Wagner was the director of the famous Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1964 until 1986. Wagner first introduced the Chorale's so-called "Messiah sing-alongs" in 1980. Now a Master Chorale holiday tradition, Messiah sing-along concerts are performances of the famous Handel piece in which attendees are encouraged to participate.
Wagner continued to conduct the Master Chorale's Messiah sing-alongs through 1985, before the Chorale's board dismissed him. For the next two years, Wagner arranged his own audience participation Messiah concerts with the combined talents of the Master Chorale of Orange County, the Pacific Chorale, and the Pacific Symphony.
In total, opportunities for average citizens to sing Messiah with Roger Wagner took place in the Los Angeles area from 1980 until 1987. Wagner died in 1992, but the Los Angeles Master Chorale continues to hold annual Messiah sing-along concerts to this day.
Faris, G. (1992, September 18). Roger Wagner, Choral Music Leader, Dies at 78. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/
Roger Wagner. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 17, 2018 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Wagner
Shulgold, M. (1986, September 3). Handel's 'Messiah': A holiday tradition. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com