'Messiah' concert raises the roof at Worcester Cathedral

11th of December, 2016

The 150-strong Worcester Festival Choral Society performed Handel's hugely popular masterwork, Messiah, to a packed Worcester Cathedral on Saturday 10th December.

Heralding the Christmas season in grand musical style, the concert attracted more than 550 music lovers from across the region. The performance featured the Meridian Sinfonia orchestra playing period instruments, and acclaimed soloists Lucy Bowen (soprano), Clare McCaldin (mezzo-soprano), Nathan Vale (tenor) and Quentin Hayes (baritone).  Peter Nardone, Organist & Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral, conducted.

Ben Cooper, Chairman of Worcester Festival Choral Society, said: “Handel’s Messiah is always a highlight in the musical calendar. It’s a real treat, not only for the audience but the performers too! We were thrilled that so many hundreds of people came along to enjoy it.”

Handel’s Messiah is amongst the most popular pieces of music ever written, packed with familiar choruses such as ‘For unto us a child is born’ and ‘And he shall purify’. The rousing Hallelujah chorus is the most famous section however, for which audiences usually stand – a tradition thought to have begun when King George II rose to his feet at the debut London performance in 1743.

Established in 1861, Worcester Festival Choral Society’s singers are selected from across the County. The society stages three major concerts in Worcester Cathedral each year, performing some of the world’s ‘great choral works’. Many of its members sing in the world-renowned, annual Three Choirs Festival, which in 2017 returns to Worcester (22 - 29 July 2017).  

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