CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY Long ago, before Santa Claus, Black Friday stampedes and insanity-inducing holiday jingles, people celebrated Christmas for its spiritual values. Sacred music was an essential element of that, and for composers of note, a Christmas composition was practically de rigueur. Then came Darwin, the Industrial Age, the mechanized slaughter of WWI, "Let's Misbehave" jazz, Elvis the Pelvis ... well, point being, spirituality took it in the chops. And while the classical community often bemoans having to trot out the cannon to draw in new listeners, Handel's Messiah — written in just 24 days and first performed in Dublin in 1742 — reminds even hard-core secularists that devotion can make for beautiful art. More importantly, there's nothing that gives the lie to the notion that classical is a long-dead artform than being in the presence of 130 voices and an orchestra breathing new life into an old warhorse like the "Hallelujah" chorus. Everybody should experience it once, and this is your yearly opportunity with the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte and the Charlotte Symphony (Scott Allen Jarrett is conducting).