Artes Christi takes full flight with recording of Handel’s Messiah

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Conductor Eugene Raggio takes the Artes Christi Choir through one of the most widely loved choral pieces in history: Handel’s Messiah. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Handel’s Messiah is again set to inspire listeners across Australia following the release of a new CD recording by Artes Christi, launched on 11 June by Bishop Richard Umbers.

“God finds a way to the soul through music,” explained Bishop Umbers, as he congratulated the work of the “youth Choir and youth Orchestra who have put this together.”

The CD is available to purchase as a 2 CD Box Set and features over 60 musicians including a full orchestra and choir under the baton of conductor Eugene Raggio.

The CD will raise money and awareness for the work of the Ephpheta Centre, Sydney’s Catholic Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.

Sydney bishop, Bishop Richard Umbers launches Artes Christi latest CD. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Chris Herron, Director of the Sydney Archdiocese Fundraising Office, was also present for the launch—held at the 1880 Hall at St Peter’s Church Surry Hills—along with Fr Bill Milsted, Parish Priest of Surry Hills and Fr Michael Lanzon, the Chaplain of the Ephpheta Centre.

“We are so grateful that Artes Christi has thought of our community in their release of this CD,” said Fr Lanzon. “Your support will do great good.”

Anthony McCarthy, President of Artes Christi, also spoke of the partnership with Ephpheta from the perspective of the musicians who produced the CD.

“To know our music is supporting people who are significantly impaired in their hearing or are unable to hear at all is a poignant reminder of the great joy and gift which is music both for the performer and the listener.”

“In fact, as a result of our partnership with Ephpheta, this CD is now able to engage the entire community. Everyone who can hear is able to access the music directly through the CD, whilst our partnership with Ephpheta means we are also able to support the very people in the community who are unable to fully participate in this beautiful music.”

The solo singers on the Messiah CD include Meagan Griffin (soprano), John Brazier (alto), Paul McLeod (tenor) and Benjamin Caukwell (bass) who together with the conductor Eugene Raggio (who himself sings one track on the CD) have all been trained and have performed throughout Australia and overseas.

There are over 2 hours of music on the CD ranging from the wonderful Christmas movements Glory to God, Behold a Virgin and For Unto Us to the Passion movements Behold the Lamb of God, Surely, And With His Stripes and He Trusted in God to the famous Resurrection Movements in The Hallelujah Chorus, Since By Man Came Death and I Know that My Redeemer Liveth to the triumphant final movements The Trumpet Shall Sound, Worthy is the Lamb and the incredible 120-fold Amen.

The CD is available to purchase via the Sydney Archdiocese Fundraising Office on 1800 753 9599 or via Artes Christi’s website www.theword.org.au