Come and Sing Messiah Event to Raise Money for Yorkshire Cancer Research

15 February 2018

Fans of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ from across the world have been invited to take part in a performance of the oratorio at St John’s Church, Sharow.

Ripon Choral Society member Bridget Taylor-Connor has organised a Come and Sing Messiah event to raise money for both the church and Yorkshire Cancer Research, a charity she has supported since losing a friend to cancer in 2013.

An invitation to the performance, which takes place on Palm Sunday (March 25), has been sent by Distinguished Concerts International New York to singers who took part in the world premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins’ ‘Sing! The Music was Given’ at Carnegie Hall.

Ripon Choral Society was one of several choirs from countries around the globe, including the UK, the US, Switzerland, Norway and Germany, which performed at the prestigious event in January.

Bridget outside Carnegie Hall, New York, where she took part in the world premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins’ ‘Sing! The Music was Given’ as a member of Ripon Choral Society

Bridget said: “It’s very exciting to think that we could be welcoming singers from around the world to our performance on Palm Sunday. This event will be very special for me. I sang as a child, but it wasn’t until I joined Ripon Choral Society that I started singing Messiah.

“I went to see the first Come and Sing Nidderdale Messiah and thought how fab it would be to be able to join in and sing. I’ve since sang with them a few times and at a ‘turn up and sing’ with John Dunford, which was a very enjoyable experience. Inspired by my journey with singing and the Messiah, I now find myself organising an event of my own.

“This will be an opportunity for those who love singing Handel’s Messiah to perform it from scratch, with no rehearsal, under the baton of the charismatic John Dunford. Or for those who don’t sing, it will be a chance to enjoy this beautiful composition.”

The performance will be particularly poignant for Bridget, who joined Yorkshire Cancer Research’s Ripon Voluntary Fundraising Committee after her friend and fellow choral society member Sally Robinson died from cancer.

Bridget Taylor-Connor (far left) has organised a Come and Sing Messiah at St John’s Church, Sharow. The event will raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research in memory of Bridget’s friend, Sally Robinson (far right), who passed away from cancer in 2013

Bridget added: “We started singing together with Ripon Choral Society when our boys were babies in 1998. Her son George, now 21, will hopefully be singing with us on March 25. Sally’s daughter Lottie and husband Trevor will also be at the concert. It will be a lovely way to remember her and raise money for a cause close to my heart.”

Registration will take place at 1pm with tea and cake, followed by the performance at 2.30pm. Performers and audience members are requested to make a £20 minimum donation in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research and St John’s Church, Sharow.

For more information and to book a place, please email



Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 575 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
    • Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
  • For further information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter

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