It's Christmastime in San Francisco, but you wouldn't know it by the looks of the snowless city. Zoe Jensen (Michael Learned), a recently divorced mother, has just moved to the Bay area with her child, hoping to make a fresh start. In order to meet peopleand jumpstart her new life, Zoe joins a local church choir, which is headed up by a cantankerous choirmaster, Ephraim Adams (John Houseman). Almost immediately, the two butt heads. But as the story of Zoe unfolds, so too do the stories of Ephraim, the choirmaster; as well as some of the other choir members. As Christmas approaches, an upcoming performance of Handel's Messiah looms, and Zoe finds herself caving under the pressure of her new life.