Since its Dublin premiere in 1742, it has been performed by choirs across the land every year since at least 1745.
Handel composed his most famous piece in 1741, and continued to work on it after its initial performance, finally arriving at the version we know today.
Impressive solo arias, like 'Ev'ry valley shall be exalted' and 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion' are interspersed with compelling chorus numbers, telling the story of Jesus' birth, life, death, resurrection, and final victory over sin and death.
SIOBHAN DENNING began learning violin and piano at an early age and won a scholarship as a Junior Exhibitioner to the Guildhall School of Music at the age of 13. She read music at Sussex University, where she was secretary of the Music Union and a Choral Scholar studying choral conducting under Laszlo Heltay and John Birch. She was awarded a Masters degree at the same university in 1994.
She sang with the Brighton Festival Chorus for many years and acted as repetiteuse on occasions. She has also sung with the London Philharmonic Chorus and the Windsor Festival Chorus. In 1981 Siobhan founded Chanctonbury Chorus and has conducted it ever since. In 1985, on the strength of the choir’s performance, she was offered a conducting scholarship in Vienna. Another scholarship, in 1990, awarded by the English Speaking Union, enabled her to study and travel in America for 10 weeks, researching music education and amateur choral music. She also conducts the Worthing String Ensemble.
After a career teaching music in several schools in West Sussex, she moved into Senior Management and most latterly into secondary school Headship, retiring in 2018. “Rewiring” rather than retiring, she is now an executive and leadership coach, working in education and beyond and director of a consultancy company: Chanctonbury Ltd. After so many years balancing a demanding career and running a choir, she is very much enjoying the time she can now spend with her first love – choral music.
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