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Handel's Messiah

Messiah Flyer .jpg



Good evening all and welcome to our 50th Anniversary Concert and for this we look back to the society"s first ever concert which included excerpts from Handel's great oratorio Messiah and we are doing the same tonight. As always we continue in our mission to celebrate and develop the talents of the musicians in our choir and tonight we applaud the talents of Sarah, Lisa, Scarlet, Andrew and Leo who sing solo for us and we are delighted to have our great friend John Wyatt playing the organ. We are presenting a concert of excerpts of Messiah as we continue to follow our concert model of an hour or so of music followed by a glass of fizz and cake. 

There are always so many people to thank when putting together a concert like this and I would like to extend my gratitude to all the wonderful committee of NCS who work tirelessly to support myself and the choir and to our fabulous accompanist Heather Toyn who has helped us enormously in rehearsals this term and will play for our summer concert Princess Ida. I would also like to extend our thanks to our hosts at St. John's. We love being part of the St. John's family and hope to be so for many more years to come. 

I do hope you enjoy our concert this evening. Our next concert will be on June 17th with a potted version of Gilbert & Sullivan's hilarious Savoy Opera Princess Ida.  We have many events throughout the year which can be discovered via our website. Enjoy the concert and we hope to see you again soon.


Julie Bale Music Director





Comfort Ye My People  - Andrew Bale
Ev’ry Valley shall be Exalted - Andrew Bale
And the Glory of the Lord - Choir
Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive - Scarlet Brett
O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion - Scarlet Brett  & Choir
For Unto Us a Child is Born - Choir
Pastoral Symphony - John Wyatt
There were Shepherds Abiding in the Fields - Sarah Brameld
Glory to God - Choir
Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion - Julie Bale
Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind  - Scarlet Brett
He Shall Feed his Flock - Scarlet & Julie
He was Despised - Scarlet Brett
All we like sheep have gone astray - Choir
All they that see him laugh him to scorn - Andrew Bale
He trusted in God - Choir
 Thy Rebuke hath broken his heart/Behold and See - Andrew 
How Beautiful are the Feet - Lisa Cuschieri
Hallelujah - Choir 
I know that my Redeemer Liveth - Sarah Brameld
Since By Man Came Death - Choir
Behold, I tell you a mystery - Leo Hodes
The Trumpet Shall Sound - Tenors & Basses
Worthy is the Lamb that was Slain & Amen - Choir


Composed 1741

Messiah is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel. The text was compiled from the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalte by Charles Jennens. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and no direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus as the Messiah called Christ. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only "scene" taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion of Jesus and ends with the Hallelujah chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in Heaven.

Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified, such as Mozart's Der Messias. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the trend has been towards reproducing a greater fidelity to Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. A near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times.



Julie Bale  | Conductor

 Julie Bale is an eminent teacher of voice as well as being a well-loved soprano, conductor and Clinical Hypnotherapist for Singers. She has tutored many UK Choirs including the London Oriana Choir. She studied Music and German at Oxford Brookes University, continuing her studies with a PGCE from Goldsmith's College, University of London and an ARCM from the Royal College of Music whilst working with Elizabeth Robson. She continued her studies in singing and vocal pedagogy with Professor Janice Chapman AUM MOA and with Dame Josephine Barstow. She regularly leads workshops for choirs and has adjudicated a number of competitions. She studied conducting and choral direction with Manvinder Rattan and Sarah Tenant Flowers and with Amy Bebbington of  the Association of British Choral Directors. 


She continues to enjoy a busy career as a singer. She has performed the vast majority of the Oratorio repertoire with choirs all over the UK with regular appearances in Verdi's Requiem, Orff's Carmina Burana as well as numerous Messiahs and Elijah's and sings principal roles in opera with companies such as Dorset Opera, Berwick Festival Opera and OperaHerts. 


John Wyatt | Organist

John began studying the organ with Richard Hickox at St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster at the age of fourteen having started with the piano at the age of seven. He continued his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music where his teachers included Douglas Hawkridge for organ and Paul Steinitz for harmony and continuo playing. John has been conductor of Harrow Philharmonic Choir since 1991, bringing enthusiasm and humour along with his commitment to excellence in the choral singing tradition.


Heather Toyn | Accompanist

Heather Toyn has been accompanist with Harrow Philharmonic Choir since 1989 and has appeared as soloist with them on a number of occasions. She studied piano from an early age with Ella Pounder (a student of the renowned pianist Solomon), and continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music gaining her LRAM, GRSM hons and where she was awarded prizes for Piano Accompaniment. In her role as accompanist she has appeared at music centres throughout the UK and has also performed on BBC and ITV. She taught piano at the junior department at the Royal Academy of Music, was Assistant Director of Music at Orley Farm School from 1997 – 2015, subsequently becoming Director of Music there from 2015 – 2017. Heather is co-founder of the G & T School of Performing Arts for Children aged 3 – 16 and combines this with her work as professional accompanist, teacher and coach.

Northwood Choral Society   


Sopranos:    Sarah Brameld, Lisa Cuschieri, Lesley Dutton, Linda Gibson, Jane Hendley, Ina Mann,  Sally Rogers, Carol Went, Morfudd Wise


Altos:  Alison Atkinson, Scarlet Brett, Jane Connell, Katie Munn, Lucy Scarlett, Sue Spurlock, Sally Manders

Tenors: Andrew Bale, Leo Hodes, Sylvia Park, Alan Powell


Basses:  Chris Dutton, John Dyson, James Gray, John Ling, Peter Warwick, Graham Wheeler, John Wilford 

We are currently welcoming new members in the All sections. We rehearse on Sunday evenings from 7.30pm - 9.30pm at St. John’s Church, Hallowell Road, Northwood. Please contact us via the website or by emailing 

Music Director: Julie Bale                      

Accompanist: Heather Toyn

Chairman: Andrew Bale 

Secretary: Sarah Brameld

Treasurer: Alison Atkinson

Committee members: Jane Connell, Carol Went 

Concert Managers: Chris Dutton & Lesley Dutton 

VIPS : Katrina Warren, Denis Sharp


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