BEAVER CREEK - The holiday tree is up and decorations are on display at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek as the venue kicks off its holiday season. The Vilar Center is delighted to host a holiday tradition and favorite family pastime on Saturday with Handel's Messiah by Candlelight. A tradition around the world, George Frideric Handel's revered oratorio is a sacred masterpiece, first performed in 1742, that has become one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. The Colorado Symphony and Chorus will perform what's known as the Christmas portion of the Messiah, plus popular highlights like the "Hallelujah Chorus," at the Vilar Center on Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. "With our Messiah performance approaching, it truly feels like the holiday season is upon us," said Kris Sabel, executive director for the VPAC. "We a thrilled to offer this tradition to families throughout the valley as well as visitors, and with student tickets at just $15 we hope to see audience members of all ages celebrating the season with us."The Colorado Symphony, led by Scott O'Neil, resident conductor, is the region's only full-time professional orchestra. Originally established in 1989 as the successor to the Denver Symphony, the Colorado Symphony thrives on a spirit of collaboration among musicians, staff, trustees and the community. The Colorado Symphony performs in Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver and throughout the state and region utilizing small ensembles to the full-sized orchestra. Saturday's Messiah performance at the Vilar Center presents an ideal venue for the group, whose aim it is to embrace the original spirit and intent of Handel with this rendition. While big orchestrations of the piece exist, a large orchestra was not available to Handel at the time and Director O'Neil believes that a smaller space allows the audience to better absorb and experience the music. Set against the warm and romantic background of glowing candlelight, the performance is sure to create a lasting holiday memory for its audience. Tickets for Messiah by Candlelight are still on sale and available online at vilarpac.org, by phone at 970-845-TIXS or in person at the VPAC Box Office in Beaver Creek.