"Messiah": The Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah," with orchestra, will be presented by a 100-voice choir made up of the Piedmont Choral Society and the sanctuary choirs of First Presbyterian and Central United Methodist churches at 3 p.m. today at First Baptist Church, 200 Branchview Drive. Admission is free; donations will be taken.
At the Davis Theatre: Tickets are on sale for a Christmas concert by the Brand New Opry at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Hosted by Jeff Whittington, the Brand New Bluegrass Boys will play favorite Christmas songs and bluegrass classics. Whittington also will play Christmas music on the hammered dulcimer. All seats are reserved. Tickets are $10, available online at www.CabarrusArtsCouncil.org, at the Davis Theatre box office 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays or by telephone at 704-920-2753. The Davis Theatre is at 65 Union St. S., in Cabarrus County's historic courthouse.
Toys for Tots: Monday is the final day to drop off new, unwrapped toys and games at Kannapolis Fire Station No. 1, 300 Firehouse Drive, for the Marine Corps Reserves' "Toys for Tots" program. Drop off presents between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Recycling saves: In a three-month study by city officials, participation in curbside recycling was 64 percent to 66 percent, rates that are consistent with statewide and national averages. Since the program began July 1, almost 1,000 tons of waste has been diverted from the county landfill, saving $37,000 in tipping fees.
Hearing on rail plans: The N.C. Department of Transportation will host an open-house-style public hearing Monday about proposed track and rail crossing improvements between Concord and Charlotte. The proposal to add a 12-mile second stretch of track beside the existing track is a part of improvements planned along the railway from Raleigh to Charlotte. New bridges also are proposed to separate automobile and train traffic.
The hearing will be 6-8 p.m. in the Commons area at Hickory Ridge High School, 7321 Ragin' Road. Project information will be provided, but there won't be a formal presentation. DOT representatives will be there to answer questions and hear comments.
Maps and the environmental assessment are available for viewing at the Harrisburg Town Hall, 4100 Main St., Suite 101. Details: Eileen Fuchs, 919-707-6067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.