Huddersfield Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s Messiah is always full of drama.

And in Huddersfield Town Hall last night, it was even more so.

For the choir, the orchestra and 1,000 choral fans had to be evacuated because of a fire alarm.

Cooking fumes from the hall kitchen are thought to have set off the automatic fire alarm system, promoting hall stewards to announce an evacuation.

Ironically, the food was being cooked for a Choral Society function for guests.

The drama came in the second half of the Choral’s public performance, just as they had started on the chorus “He Trusted in God”.

Huddersfield firefighters were called to the hall and quickly established it was a false alarm.

Choral officials decided “the show must go on” and they resumed the concert after the 20-minute break to rapturous applause from the audience.

Choral Society spokesman Robert Drummond, who was on stage with the singers, said: ”It certainly added to the drama.

“I said it was a triumph in concentration for the choir, orchestra, soloists and audience as the performance was interrupted by a fire alarm followed by the evacuation of the Town Hall in the middle of ‘He Trusted in God’.

“Fortunately it was a false alarm and the performance reached new heights on everyone’s return with a rousing reception from the audience at the end.


“I had seen red lights flickering at the back of the hall as we started the chorus but could not really take a proper look. Then I realised it was an alarm and the stewards, who did a marvellous job, came on stage and announced it was a fire alarm.

“We were outsude in the drizzle for about 10 or 15 minutes but everyone agreed to carry on and the audience gave us a fantastic reception”.

People involved at the concert took to social media afterwards to praise the Society.

Mark Harrison A joy to watch Dennis, my grandad, sing his farewell concert at the sterling age of 90. An inspiration all my life as a musician. Thank you all!

Penny Woodhead Spine tingling, the fire alarm added to the drama/emotion. Fabulous

Yvonne Gorton It was wonderful. Having trusted in God, He let us return to a superb ending.

Ruth Brooks I was there and it was absolutely marvellous, another triumph for you.