amenAmen, Amen. A — men!

And so came to an end our second and last performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Saturday 7th. I’d say the performance was of a good standard. We only had 25 choristers and 9 musicians, but we filled up the small church (150 seats) with fine, joyful, music and the audience loved it.

Huge congratulations to Conductor Colin Forbes who directs and teaches brilliantly. I’ve learnt heaps from him.

It was quite an effort, with hours of rehearsals, but less demanding that when I last sang in Messiah five years ago. Surprisingly, I remembered much of the Bass part.

Now it’s practice for a pre-Christmas traditional service of lessons and carols. Deciphering words and music from a cluttered score can be a challenge.



OK, maybe a performance of Messiah is commonplace, but it’s special for me and great fun—and Handel’s writing is unsurpassed. My first outing as a chorister was in Messiah.

And who could resist Emmanuel, our mascot caterpillar? (Just think “caterpillar, caterpillar, caterpillar” as you struggle to sing the coloratura.) Why Emmanuel? Because, as the Book says “they shall call his name …”.


I dragged out my battered copy of the Schirmer score that I bought (new) for $1.75, about forty years ago. They’re still going for as for a few dollars online. I especially like a recording by The Taverner Consort. VBD5620042 (Virgin). I hope my burthen will be light as I attempt to re-learn Handel’s notes. For me, this is the most heartfelt passage, yet it is not too hard to sing.