The Prescot Festival Chorus are planning a return to full strength for this year’s Prescot Festival.
Regularly attracting 100 or more singers from across the North West, the choir has been gathering annually since 2007, performing works by such luminaries of choral music as Fauré, Mozart and Mendelssohn.
On Saturday 18 June, however, they meet for the first time since 2019 to sing highlights from perhaps the most celebrated choral work of all time—Handel’s Messiah, featuring the justly famous Hallelujah Chorus.
Conductor Ian Wells will be bringing with him his three Liverpool Cathedral-based community choirs to entertain in the second half of the concert: Liverpool Cathedral Junior Choir, the Gilbert Scott Singers (youth choir) and Liverpool64.
The following day, Sunday 19 June, marks the Prescot Festival debut of the Liverpool Bach Collective. Under the direction of former Metropolitan Cathedral Master of Music Philip Duffy, the ensemble includes eight singers and ten instrumentalists. Together they’ll sing a traditional service of Evensong, followed by Bach’s Cantata 30: Rejoice, redeemed flock.
Singing is at the heart of this year’s Prescot Festival, with the Primary Schools’ Choir Festival on Monday 20 June and an evening with musical theatre company BOST on Saturday 25 June. And although the 10-day event ends on Sunday 26 June, festival-goers are invited to a free post-festival concert on Friday 1 July, when the choir of St Peter’s College, Oxford, perform as part of their Merseyside-wide tour.
“There’s a sense of excitement about singing Handel’s Messiah this year,” said artistic director Dr Robert Howard, “especially as circumstances the last few years have prevented us bringing so many people together for this sort of ‘Come and Sing’ event. We’re anticipating a really spectacular occasion.”
All sopranos, altos, tenors and basses are invited to join the Prescot Festival Chorus, regardless of age or experience. Full details are online at prescotfestival.co.uk, along with the full programme for this year’s Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts, which takes place between Friday 17 and Sunday 26 June.