The School’s Youth Messiah Choir sung at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday December 2 and raised £1,500 for the WaterAid charity.
Eleven students and two teachers joined over 1,500 other singers from 50 different choirs to sing George Frideric Handel’s crowning achievement, Messiah.
Handel was given funding in 1741 by a group of charities from Dublin, Ireland, to compose a new work for a benefit performance. He completed the oratorio in just 24 days without getting much sleep or even eating a great deal of food, producing an astounding 259-page score.
Earnings from early performances of the oratorio were used to help the poor, needy, orphaned, widowed, and sick.
Now Messiah dominates the Christmas time orchestra calendar throughout the world. The largest regular performance in the UK, the ‘Messiah from Scratch’, is annually held at the Royal Albert Hall, London, ever since 1974 with the purpose of raising money for worthy causes.
For the past six years younger choirs have been allowed to join in this celebration of the Master’s work through the ‘Scratch® Youth Messiah’ performance.
‘It was an incredible honour for Prior Park School to have been first young choir from Gibraltar to take a part in such a huge and important event. Mrs Easter and myself were very proud of how enthusiastic and dedicated were our students and even more proud when we were given a special mention during the introduction whilst waving our Gibraltar flags,’ the choir leader, Dr Lnenicek-Allen, said.
On the day they joined a professional orchestra and young soloists under the baton of Ben Parry (Artistic Director, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain), for a short morning rehearsal leading up to a thrilling corporate performance, singing what they have learnt and hearing other choirs sing the movements they have yet to study.
The most favourite piece by the students so far was “Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs” shortly followed by “Hallelujah”, “And the Glory Of The Lord”, and the final part of “Worthy is the Lamb” which is an Amen.
With that final piece the Royal Albert Hall erupted into applause with flowers being handed out to the conductor and soloists.
In keeping with Handel’s own philanthropic outlook, the 2018 event was raising money for WaterAid UK to go towards vital projects in Rwanda, reaching some of the world’s poorest communities with safe water, taps and decent toilets. Prior Park students managed to raise £1,545 through a JustGiving fundraising page.
‘On the behalf of the school and students, a huge thank you to everyone who so generously donated to our WaterAid page and in doing so helped to transform many young lives with the provision of clean water and good hygiene,’ added Dr Lnenicek-Allen.