Lancaster University

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University Raises Voices With Messiah

09/27/2007 16:27:26

A sixty-strong choir has sung Handel’s popular masterpiece, Messiah, at Lancaster University’s Chaplaincy Centre. For many members of the choir, it was the first time that they had sung in public and all those who took part said they found it a highly enjoyable and uplifting experience.

The successful one-day event was open to all, regardless of musical experience, with an emphasis on participation and fun. A series of hands-on workshops and rehearsals led to a rousing evening performance of Messiah in the Anglican Chapel. The choir, which was made up of amateur enthusiasts and more experienced members of local choirs and community singing groups, was accompanied by concert organist, Dr Tim Rishton and the conductor, Ben Crick.

Dr Rishton said: “We were delighted with the event. It is the first time we have run anything quite like this and we were amazed by the enthusiasm and talent of all those who took part. The performance at the end of the day was really excellent!”

Dr Rishton is Director of Studies for Music at the University’s Department of Continuing Education. He has enjoyed a distinguished international career as concert organist, broadcaster, author and lecturer, making a number of solo recordings, as well as recordings with Aled Jones, Simon Roberts and others. He is currently recording a CD of Italian Baroque music, a series of CDs of music by Yorkshire composers, a double CD of Bach's Art of Fugue, and preparing a CD of Norwegian organ music.

He was accompanied by Ben Crick, a cellist, singer and conductor, who is well-known for his ability to engage audiences with his innovative approach. He is currently Choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church in Skipton. He often works with choirs in unusual locations, for example his new translation of Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienna was performed at the Narrow Boat pub in Skipton during 2005, and in 2006 he produced Così Fan Tutte at Skipton Auction Mart.

The event was organised by Lancaster University’s Department of Continuing Education (DCE). DCE runs many music courses around the region and a part-time Certificate in Music. For details please contact DCE on 01524 592623/4.