Sunday 30 November 2014
THE SCRATCH® YOUTH MESSIAH
Royal Albert Hall
Our second Scratch Youth Messiah was another happy occasion, with over 1,000 young people joining us for a morning rehearsal drawing together all the hard work done by individual choirs. School choirs, church choirs and youth choirs all combined to sing this mainstay of the UK choral repertoire: almost half the choirs sang everything, with others singing at least three ‘core’ choruses plus others as resources permitted. The result was a really fresh-sounding performance which would have been a credit to any concert hall.
The performance was accompanied by members of the English Festival Orchestra (leader Jonathan Evans-Jones), and the four soloists were Jennifer France (soprano), Anna Harvey (mezzo), Nick Pritchard (tenor) and Ed Ballard (baritone). The Royal Albert Hall’s ‘Father’ Willis organ was played by Jane Watts, and the conductor was Suzi Digby OBE.
The concert supported WaterAid through programme sales, bucket collections, sales of merchandise and ‘Bottle It’. Choirs used this last initiative to fill empty water bottles with their small change, spurred on by the promise of a £500 prize generously donated by online music retailer ChoraLine (Music Dynamics). The choir raising the most money was Bredon School Choir, under their Director of Music Georgina Ferrari, and the event raised a total of almost £4,500 to help bring clean, safe water and sanitation to the Afram Plains of Ghana.
A live recording was made by Abbey Road Live Here Now, and it is still possible to order CDs. The more CDs you buy, the cheaper they are: click here to place your order (opens in a new window). You can also see photos of the concert taken by Chris Christodoulou; click here to visit the Scratch® Youth Messiah gallery on his website.