Inter-church choirs in Ipswich,
Bury St Edmunds and Colchester
Saturday 7 December 2019
St John the Baptist
Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich
Cantus Firmus Choir
Cantus Firmus Sinfonietta
Conductor: Richard Hubbard
Combined Schools Choir,
Drama, Dance and Art
Sidegate Primary School
St John's CEVA Primary School
St Mary's Catholic Primary School
St Helen's School
Chikezie Chike-Michael Bass
Mary Forty Contralto
Andrew Gosden Tenor
Kate Hibbert Soprano
Grace O'Reilly Soprano
The event was a collaboration between Cantus Firmus Trust, Mission Ipswich East, the four schools, and St Edmundsbury Cathedral's InHarmony project.
Saturday was a magical night - I'll never forget it.
Estelle, Year 5
We liked Mr. Handel coming to our school. When he came to life again at Messy Messiah it was magnificent!
Jasirat, Year 6
I liked watching the soloists singing their joyful songs.
Alana, Year 5
I felt indestructible when I was singing.
Alfie, Year 4
It felt really good when I sang - I felt like I could do anything.
Fran, Year 5
Hearing the children singing "Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God" - a window on heaven, perhaps?
A unique performance of the most famous of all oratorios
Written in 1741, Handel's Messiah has been at the forefront of choral repertoire ever since, and its popualrity continues. But it is usually only performed and listened to by adults.
We dared to believe that we could present it in a new way that involved all ages and many different art forms, bringing together children’s voices, an adult choir, professional musicians, and the creative artistic resources of local schools. The combined choirs numbered 170 voices, and St John's Church was packed for what one of the children described as "a magical night".
As the overture begins, My Handel, in full Baroque costume, appears, and receives a package containing the libretto written by his friend Charles Jennens. He is excited at the possibilities it offers, and explains to the audience how he intends to set each item to music.
Mr Handel has visited each school during the term, helping to deliver assembly material written for the event. In school, children worked on Messiah-based creative writing, art, dance and drama projects, many of which were incorporated into the performance.
A highlight of the evening was bass soloist Chikezie Chike-Michael turning the heads of the audience as he strode down the aisle singing "Thus saith the Lord".
The performance centred around the Christmas music from Messiah, with the addition of an audience carol, Joy to the World, the music for which is thought to have been written by Handel. The evening was rounded off with the Hallelujah Chorus.
Interested in putting on your own Messy Messiah?
We hope to have the music arrangements and other resources available as a pack during 2020. If you would like to receive notificaiton of that, please use our to request to be kept informed.