Praetorius Mass for Christmas MorningDecember 2017

At the beginning of December 2017, 150 singers drawn from two of our partner youth choirs – Bradford Catholic Youth Choir and David Ross Education Trust Youth Choir – joined 30 of Gabrieli’s professional musicians to perform Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning.

Following individual-choir training days led by Chorus Director Charles MacDougall, the main project consisted of an intensive joint rehearsal day with Paul McCreesh and performances at Hull Minster (2 December) and St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bradford (3 December).

The music was taken from one of Gabrieli’s most successful and enduring programmes, Praetorius Mass for Christmas Morning, a lavish reconstruction of a 17th century Christmas Day Mass. Featuring some of the most famous music of the Lutheran tradition (by Johann Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt and the indefatigable Michael Praetorius), this is early Baroque music at its most colourful and spectacular. And at its heart is the noble congregational chorale, music of such sublime simplicity that it can be performed by singers of all ages and abilities. The project introduced our young singers to music they would not normally perform, teaching them about its historical and cultural significance.

Performing as part of Hull 2017 City of Culture Winter Series, we were delighted also to offer a ‘Come and Sing’ event for which we were joined by adult amateur singers from across the region.