On Sunday 9th December, a packed Ampleforth Abbey witnessed the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. Rarely performed by schools in its entirety, this performance was virtually uncut. What also made it different was the fact that 54 of the performers were aged thirteen and below, including a number of eight year olds! The choristers from St Martin’s Ampleforth were joined by the Schola Cantorum and Schola Puellarum from Ampleforth Abbey, conducted by Director of Music, Ian Little. The Orchestra was led by Dara de Cogan (Head of Strings) and many visitors at the performance expressed amazement at the ability of such young children to master such complicated music. There was not an empty seat in the packed Ampleforth Abbey Church.
Mr. Conyngham, Director of Music at St. Martin’s Ampleforth said “The choristers take it all in their stride. With the huge amount of music that goes on in both the Prep School and Ampleforth College, and the depth of training provided, it is not that surprising that this sort of repertoire can be handled by the youngsters”.