The Ebor Singers to celebrate Christmas with Handel and Britten carols at St Olave’s

The Ebor Singers: Christmas concert at St Olave’s Church

THE Ebor Singers serve up a double festive treat of Part One of Handel’s Messiah and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols in A Christmas Celebration in York on Sunday, December 18.

This is the second of the York choir’s Christmas concerts, wherein the 7.30pm programme will be performed in the intimate surroundings of St Olave’s Church, Marygate.

The choir will be joined by a string quartet and organist Keith Wright for Handel’s work; harpist Rachel Dent for Britten’s carols. Solos will be taken on by choir members.

“Part One of Handel’s Messiah takes us from prophecy to the birth of Jesus, and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols takes up the story of the nativity,” says musical director Paul Gameson. “Although 200 years separate these two works, they both speak with similar directness and freshness.

“Handel draws on the most popular musical genres of the day for his Messiah: part-German passion, part-Italian opera, part-English anthem. Britten followed a trend of his contemporaries, exploring medieval poetry, but his music – scored for female voices and harp – established the new quintessential ‘sound’ of Christmas music.

A Christmas Celebration also showcases pieces from The Ebor Singers’ new album of American Christmas music, Wishes And Candles.

Tickets (£15, concessions £12, students aged 16 plus £7, children free) are available from or on the door.

When a concert is postponed, not cancelled….

York Musical Society in the days before Covid-19

YORK Musical Society’s glorious celebration of Baroque music at York Minster tonight is postponed rather than cancelled.

“We are classing it as ‘postponed’ as we do plan to incorporate this fabulous repertoire at some point in the future when we are allowed to sing together again,” says YMS’s Lesley Peatfield..

“We are still rehearsing the lovely Handel anthems and the Gloria via Zoom for those members of YMS who have been taking part this term and plan to sing each piece through online in the ‘splendour’ of our own homes instead.”

Lesley adds: “With the future of choirs and singing in groups a big subject for debate, we are planning to rehearse and enjoy Handel’s Messiah for the autumn term via the Zoom platform. Keep singing and stay safe.”