When you register:


Choose your choruses to suit the ability and time commitment of your choir. 

After registering:

See the files at the bottom of this page for detailed information on exactly which edition we will all use, music notes for rehearsal, cuts, numbers and the full running order.

The Scratch Youth Messiah will be performed with professional soloists and orchestra, and we want you to take part at whatever level is most appropriate for your choir. Everyone should sing the four best-known choruses listed in Group A and, for choirs with limited experience, perhaps coming across Handel’s Messiah for the first time, this may be enough. Choirs who want to sing more than four choruses should additionally choose Group B, C or D. If you choose all four groups, you will be singing all the choruses in this performance.

If you are a trebles-only choir, then just learn the soprano or the alto part (or both); if you have lower voices, teach them the tenor and bass parts (lower voices should not sing the soprano part at a lower octave!). We want all your singers to come along and enjoy being part of the event so that they will want to learn more in subsequent years.


These four choruses total just 14 minutes of music:

  • And the glory of the Lord (no.4 from Part 1)

  • Surely he hath borne our griefs (no.24 from Part 2)

  • Hallelujah (no.44 from Part 2)

  • Amen (no. 53 from Part 3, the final section of ‘Worthy is the Lamb’, from Letter F)


Each Group adds less than 10 minutes of singing to the choruses in Group A. Add as many as you like!


  • O thou, that tellest good tidings to Zion (no.9, letter H onwards, from Part 1)

  •  All we like sheep (no.26 from Part 2) 

  •  Worthy is the Lamb (from Part 3)


  • For unto us a child is born (no.12 from Part 1)

  • And with his stripes (no.25 from Part 2)

  • Lift up your heads (no.33 from Part 2)


  • Glory to God (no.17 from Part 1)

  • He trusted in God (no.28 from Part 2)

  • Since by man came death (no.46 from Part 3)

The edition of Messiah we use is the ‘old’ Novello edition (edited by Prout). It weighs less than the others, and it is also out of copyright and you can therefore legally copy the choruses if you are only singing a few. Having said that, your singers will feel more part of the performance if they can follow the whole score and listen while others are singing. Most other editions of the full version are compatible: try your local library.


Here you can find essential notes on the music, and a full running order of the piece.


Since rehearsal time is short on the day, please take time to look over these musical notes (including instructions for standing and sitting) and incorporate them in your rehearsals so we are all on the same page for an excellent performance.


This document tells you all you need to know about the edition we use, numbers in the score and also has the above 'Chorus Group' list in a print-friendly version.


Here is the running order for our performance of Messiah.


Follow the link below to find access to John Fletcher's rehearsal files (registration needed but Messiah is free!)

More links and resources coming soon...