A very special performance of Handel’s Messiah will take place on Sunday, December 8 at 7pm, in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, with all proceeds going to Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation. It will be hosted by RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy, and feature internationally renowned soloists, Regina Nathan, Ann Marie Gibbons, Eamon Mulhall, and Owen Gilhooley. The Celtic Concert Orchestra and a choir of almost 100 local choristers will perform in what promises to be a truly wonderful event.
The Handel Challenge Committee, with Mayo Roscommon Hospice called for 100 singers last August to take up this challenge, with Kathy Fahey as music director leading the way. The group have been practising and training tirelessly in mastering one of the most famous and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Aside from the singing, the choir have all pledged to raise a minimum of €200 in sponsorship. The sponsorship has been coming into Hospice with some choir members raising over €2,000.
This has been a mammoth undertaking for Kathy Fahey, music director, leading a choir to perform all 21 choruses of Handel’s Messiah. “Most professional choirs wouldn’t attempt this, but we are doing it and I am confident in our group. It has been a rollercoaster so far, especially as 80 per cent of the choir were not reading music before this started. I am overwhelmed by the amount of work that everyone has put in. Our accompanist Adrian Vernon Fish is with us every week, he is superb, we couldn’t manage without his expertise.”
For this performance there will be a custom made stage erected in Castlebar Church, with the choir and orchestra seated over five tiers. A construction team voluntarily built the stage, and this will add no end to the visuals of this performance.
Tickets cost €25 and are available from the Hospice office on 094 9388666, or at your local Hospice shop – Castlebar (Super valu Car park ), Claremorris, Ballina, Ballinrobe and Swinford. Doors open at 6pm, Mary Kennedy will introduce the show at 6.45pm, and Handel’s Messiah will commence at 7pm. This is a three-hour performance with an interval. Do bring a cushion for your comfort! Seating is not assigned, so come early.