Bradford Festival Choral Society sing Handel’s Messiah

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As a former member of Bradford Festival Choral Society and someone with strong family links to the choir, it pleases me to promote their concerts here on my blog. This month they’ll be giving their annual recital of Handel’s Messiah at Price Hall at Bradford Grammar School, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to sponsor the programme.

BFCS Sponsors for Messiah - Nov 2022

I first got to know music of The Messiah in the early 1990’s by singing excerpts of this most famous oratorio at school with the Salt Grammar School choir. The opening bars of the first choral section, Comfort Ye, My People, always bring back powerfully nostalgic feelings of happiness; they take me back to being among many friends in the rather basic music room right in the top corner of that old concrete building (now replaced by a newer concrete building!!), a joyful Mr Kevin Paynes conducting us while Mrs Doreen Anderson accompanied from the piano. In actual fact, you could find me in the school music department nearly every afternoon after lessons had finished, whether playing violin or percussion in the orchestra, having timpani lessons, or perched on the edge of a hard, grey table at the back of an enthusiastic group of singers learning whatever Mr Paynes had planned for us that week. Going there at 3:30pm meant missing the school bus home and having to walk back over Baildon Green, very often in the rain and darkness. But, the time spent playing and singing was more than worth it – without doubt the most treasured memories I have of being at upper school.

So, it was a really lovely surprise when Sara, another former member of Salt Grammar’s choir and orchestra, contacted me to ask if I would like to sponsor the programme for BFCS’s forthcoming performance of the Messiah. She is now on the committee for Bradford Festival Choral, including taking on responsibility for their concert programmes and social media.. so how could I say “no”?! It also took me back to the short time that I spent singing with BFCS in the early 2000’s, back when they rehearsed in Saltaire – again, memories of a joyful time making music in an absolutely huge group, under the very professional hand of Thomas Leech.

So, if you get yourself to the concert this weekend – it gets going at 19:30 this Saturday evening – do make sure you buy a programme and look out for my ad in there. During the interval you could even point your phone camera at the QR code in the ad to book your next lessons – it just takes a few seconds to complete the booking! Here it is, in case you’d like to do it before then:

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