English Arts Chorale

Singing day on Handel's Messiah


Download Flyer as a PDF ►  



Treat yourself to a day of choral music-making and help us to raise money for vulnerable children!

Join us for a singing day exploring Handel's ever-popular Messiah, under the inspiring leadership of the EAC's founder and musical director, Leslie Olive. The day will be in aid of Coram, the children's charity, whose founder Thomas Coram established the Foundling Hospital in 1741, counting Handel amongst its patrons. EAC will be performing the Messiah in St Mary's in April next year.


"Thanks to everyone who made this such a special occasion, and particularly to Coram, Cullenders Delicatessen, La Barbe Restaurant, Priory Garden Centre, Art of Living, and Gedo Clothing, who all donated generous raffle prizes. We raised £500 for Coram, the children's charity whose fore-runner Handel supported.

Captain Thomas Coram was a philanthropist who created the London Foundling Hospital in Lamb's Conduit Fields, Bloomsbury, to look after abandoned children. It is said to be the world's first incorporated charity. 

In 1749 Handel offered to stage a concert to pay for the Chapel at the Foundling Hospital. He’d heard about Thomas Coram’s efforts to provide a home for vulnerable, abandoned children and wanted to help.

The concert took place on 27 May 1749 and included an anthem specially written by Handel called Blessed are they that considereth the poor, known today as the Foundling Hospital Anthem. Ladies were instructed not to wear hooped skirts, and men told not to bring their swords, to make more room for the large number of people expected.

Sure enough, the event was a hit, and the next year Handel became a Governor of the Hospital, donating an organ to the chapel and conducting a performance of The Messiah. Tickets sold out and another concert was arranged two weeks later. 

Handel continued to stage Messiah every year until his death in 1759. He raised almost £7,000 in all – over £1million in today’s money – a vital source of income that meant the Hospital could continue its vital work."


St Mary’s Church, Chart Lane, Reigate, RH2 7RN
Saturday, 22nd September 2018

Director: Leslie Olive
Accompanist: Doug Tang.


9.30               Registration and coffee/tea
10.00             Welcome and Session 1
11.30             Refreshment Break
11.45             Session 2
1.00               Lunch Break
2.00               Session 3
3.15               Refreshment Break
3.30               Session 4 (informal performance)
4.00               Close


£20 including music hire. Full time students (aged over 16 years) £5. We will be using the Watkins Shaw Novello edition.

Coffee, tea and cake will be provided during the day at no additional charge. Participants are advised to bring a packed lunch.

Parking & Access

On-street parking - please allow extra time to find a space. Participants will be advised of availability of alternative parking before the day.

The church has wheelchair access, and there are two parking bays for disabled drivers by the church lych-gate.

How to Book

To reserve your place please submit your details on our online registration form, or if you prefer, download and complete the booking form and email it to singingday@englisharts.org.

Please note that, if, for any reason, the singing day has to be cancelled, booking fees paid will be refunded in full.  No refunds will be made for any other reason.

Singing with the English Arts Chorale

The EAC welcomes new members with some choral experience and reasonable sight-reading ability. If you attend, and enjoy, this event and are interested in finding out more, there will be an opportunity to speak to one of our recruitment team on the day, or you can email membership@englisharts.org