Windmill Hill Chorus : forming a community choir
performance & rehearsal of Mozart's Requiem // Art on the Hill 2010 // photo: Will Vousden
Handel, Mozart et al : standing on the shoulders of giants
(or "six impossible things before breakfast") 
My extensive installation work at Easter 2009 fostered a sense of excitement at the church. When, later, the church proposed 'doing something musical' for the Art Trail later that year and invited ideas, I suggested Handel’s Messiah having already sung the work in an inaugural concert elsewhere.
A wide-eyed idea perhaps but, besides its message, historic popularity, artistic links and philanthropic pedigree, I reckoned the work would resonate with the 2009 international Handel anniversary year, the local Art Trail setting, the impressive musical experience and talent at the church, and follow on from the ambitious Easter community project.
The church explored the idea, finding the organist/director of music willing to conduct and other significant musicians interested. I approached the Art Trail committee who incorporated the venture into the Trail – so, despite having no ready funds or sizeable group of singers, church abandoned common sense and went ahead.
I designed publicity from my studio photographic work, and conjured a name for the choir we needed with the conductor. His professional, choral and orchestral experience ensured high musical standards when eventually the choir materialised. Novice and experienced singers alike turned up to a series of late-summer rehearsals that went with a swing – and the community turned out for a standing-room only performance at the end of the Trail weekend in October.
Further classical 'greats' followed under the same baton (Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Creation, Vivaldi's Gloria, and several Proms concerts). Church tastes have since changed and followed mission focus elsewhere. Meanwhile the 2009-12 choral concert series testifies to artistic vision, musical expertise and commitment, and to an artistic heritage that has summoned a choir into existence and inspired a community.
Notes and thanks // thanks to the conductor, orchestra and Chorus for their participation in these images and to Will Vousden for his photography. We were too busy to engage a photographer or to attempt in-house photography for the inaugural Messiah concert but photographs would have shown a similar turn-out.
 Alice Through The Looking Glass 1871; Lewis Carroll