Monday, 15 December 2008

The South Bank Show/Messiah (5)

Our big day out with the Keighley Vocal Union. As tradition dictates this choir perform Messiah every Christmas at a small Methodist chapel in Freckleton, not far from Preston.

The chapel is warm and welcoming. Only an organist accompanies the choir as there isn't room for an orchestra, and besides, this Messiah is being performed (if that's the right word) as part of a Methodist service which these days is quite a rarity. It's a reminder of how much Messiah owes to the singing tradition embodied in Methodism although personally I much prefer it served up in a concert hall.

In between Part One and Two the elders at the chapel lay on a huge tea. It reminds me of those pristine spreads I would stare at with envy in Ladybird books from the seventies, all colour and cream. Afterwards everyone goes to the pub and carols are sung at full pelt. On the coach home everyone reverts to good old Abba, the Patron Saints of coach parties.

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