IT HAS been a good year for the newly formed Huddersfield Voices and it hopes to crown it with a second successful performance of Messiah.
The choir held its first performance last autumn and now has 60 singers.
It will sing Handel’s Messiah at Huddersfield Town Hall on Tuesday December 4 at 7.15pm. The conductor will be Alan Brierley.
The choir’s ranks will be augmented by singers from a number of other choirs including Holmfirth Choral Society, Huddersfield Choral Society, Huddersfield U3A Mixed Choir, Meltham Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Mirfield Choral and Outlane Singers.
Soloists for the performance will be Jennifer Webb (soprano), David Condry (alto), Peter Condry (tenor) and Richard Cressall (bass).
Simon Lindley will play the organ and other soloists will be Mike Briggs on trumpet and John Turnbull on timpani.
The choir held its inaugural concert at Holy Trinity Church last October followed by its first Messiah at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The choir says the highlight of this year so far has been the concert it held to mark the Queen’s Jubilee in which it celebrated 500 years of English music.
But it expects that Tuesday’s Messiah performance will trump that with its band of young soloists.
Soprano Jennifer Webb has always sung both classically and as a jazz soloist.
Her academic background saw her read Medieval English and Old Norse at Oxford but she also found time to be a choral scholar at Merton College. Jennifer sang as a soloist and a chorister with a number of groups, most notably in Mozart’s Requiem in Christ Church Cathedral.
Whilst at university, Jennifer made recordings and toured with choirs, singing in cathedrals and concert venues around the UK and in Paris and Vienna.
Since graduating she has returned as an English teacher at The Grammar School at Leeds.
She now sings soprano with The Ascension Singers, a five piece choir based in Leeds who specialise in one-to-a part, a cappella choral music. In addition, Jennifer regularly performs as a soloist with other choirs and in her own right.
Counter tenor David Condry is musical director of Morley Music Society and director of the Leeds- based semi-professional chamber choir Ecclesia.
He began singing as a chorister in London and has sung in professional church choirs throughout his career with Leeds Parish Church Choir and York Minster Choir and as a regular deputy with Ripon, Wakefield and Manchester cathedrals.
David has also sung in opera, given song recitals, appears with a number of professional ensembles including the Delphian Singers (which David also manages) in London and a newly formed professional male voice quartet also based in London.
Tenor Peter Condry grew up in Surrey and sang first in his father’s church choir.
He moved to Leeds to read music at the university and while studying for his degree, Peter was a choral scholar in the Leeds Parish Church (now Minster) choir under Dr Simon Lindley.
Peter is associate director of Ecclesia, is a classical accompanist and organ recitalist, has a number of theatrical credits to his name both as a pit musician and MD and is an accomplished soloist.
The concert’s bass soloist, Richard Cressall says he started singing as a boy in his local village church and has been singing ever since.
He was a Choral Bursar and principal bass soloist in the choir of Exeter College, Oxford University and subsequently was a Bass Lay Clerk at Leeds Parish Church (now Leeds Minster) during his postgraduate studies.
Richard’s career as a lawyer then took him to London, where he diverted his attention from the law by spending weekends in various cathedrals around the country and doing solo work.
Having returned to Leeds, Richard is now helping to direct the choir of Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell and singing with the new Leeds vocal ensemble, the Ascension Singers.