"For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth - Hallelujah!"
Would you like to sing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus in a choir at sunrise on Easter Sunday morning? You can be part of a group of singers from all over town who are going to do this in Cathedral Square on Easter Sunday, 16 April, 2017, at 7am.
This is the third year that we are putting together a choir from all over the city to join together on Easter day to sing Handel's famous Hallelujah chorus. It will be part of a 45 minute service in Cathedral Square. There will also be some hymns, which the choir is encouraged to support, although we will spend most of our time preparing the Hallelujah chorus.
We did this for the first time in 2015, and have had a choir of about 40 people from all over the city.
If you are familiar with the music and/or can sight read, you need only attend one rehearsal, on the day before.
If you would like help to learn your part, there will be an extra rehearsal for those not familiar with the music (see below). This will include sectional practices of individual parts. The final rehearsal for all choir members will be on the day before Easter Sunday.
The music is available to download as a PDF file, or we can arrange to post a copy to you. There are also links to YouTube below where you can hear the music with each part emphasised, to help you learn a part. We will sing it in the standard key of D major, using an arrangement that the BBC used for a massed choir event.
To register your interest, please click here to fill out the online form. If you have any questions, you can contact us (details below).
There is one sectional rehearsal; if you know the music well and/or are a good sight-singer, there's no need to come to it. Everyone singing on the Sunday should be at the rehearsal the day before (if you can't make it to the Saturday rehearsal, please get in touch to work something out). The sectional rehearsal will be at St Columba's in Hornby.
The final rehearsal will be at Emmett Street Community Church, 106 Emmett St, Shirley, Christchurch. There's a map for Emmett Street here
- Sectional for those with less singing experience: Monday 3 April, 7:30pm (up to two hours), St Columba's, 452 Main South Road, Hornby.
- Final rehearsal for all singers: Saturday 15 April at 10am (2 hours). Emmett Street Community Church, 106 Emmett St, Shirley.
- The performance: Easter Sunday 16 April, 7am. You will need to be ready by 6:45am, at Cathedral Square near the Chalice (map).
The following links will be useful for practising in advance.
Hint: The beginning and end may be familiar, but don't forget to prepare the tricky contrapuntal bits in the middle (especially section B at bar 22 and section D at bar 41).
Extra hint: Watch carefully at the end: there's a rest before the last "Hallelujah" and you don't want to be the one person who misses it :-)
- Printable version of the Hallelujah chorus (arranged by Martin Ward). This is based on one from the BBC, but has the following minor corrections made in the Soprano and Alto parts (and one tenor note is shortened): Soprano part bar 28, the B should be an A; Alto part bar 34 (letter C), the first two notes should be E and D respectively, not F# and E; Bar 41 (at D); Soprano, Alto and Tenor, the minim should be a crotchet; Alto at bar 46, the D can optionally be an octave higher as it is in bar 79; and Alto at bar 80, the second F# should be an E; soprano bar 87, the second F# should be an E.
- Four recordings on YouTube with each of the S, A, T, B parts emphasised
- Sing along with the whole piece, with the music displayed on your computer
Background information: the text for the Hallelujah chorus is from
Revelation 11:15, and
Order of service
The planned order is below (word sheets will be available, and music version for the choir). The links here are to videos that use the same the tunes, but the arrangements may be slightly different.
Not used this year: Jesus Christ is risen today (tune: Easter tune)
On the day
- Weather: any changes to the plans due to weather will be posted here, and those who have registered will be emailed and sent a text message in the unlikely event of the event being canceled. At present (Sat 14 Apr 2017) the forecast is for fine weather through to Sunday afternoon.
- Please turn up at Cathedral Square by 6:45am; we'll be near the Chalice, but it shouldn't be hard to miss as it will be a large stage with lighting. There will be a warmup behind the stage at 6:45am.
- Parking: You won't be able to park in the square, but council on-street parking is free until 9am, and there are parks in the surrounding streets; see the map here. The Wilsons car parks in the area have fees 24/7.
- Dress: you will need to dress warmly since can be cold at sunrise. We will go for black (or dark) jackets and pants/skirts. You can wear a coloured shirt/blouse if you want, but it may well be hidden under a warm jacket :-)
- Finish time: we should be finished by 8am. There will be coffee and hot cross buns available afterwards.
The music director is Tim Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 027-433-1998. (Tim is an experienced organist and music director; in his early life he was assistant organist and conductor at Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson, and the College House chapel. He is now music director at Emmett Street Christian Centre.)
The event is being organised by the Shekinah Trust.