Eboracum Baroque | Handel's Messiah Recording

by [email protected] in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 4th December 2020 we successfully raised £8,085 with 210 supporters in 42 days

Help us to raise £6000 towards funding our recording of Handel's Messiah and support young freelance musicians in these uncertain times.

by [email protected] in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We're blown away to have reached our £6,000 target, thank you! Please see below details of our 'stretch' target and we'd be so grateful for your support. 

Since the writing of this crowdfunding we have entered another lockdown. This has affected the budget for this project in two ways. 

We had originally arranged for musicians to stay with lovely supporters of the group but this is now not possible. Instead we have booked hotel accommodation in Cambridge to allow the musicians to stay in the area safely in December. This is money we did not expect we would have to pay and did not budget for. 

The second further expense is the hire of a chamber organ. Again this was not originally planned as we had agreed to use a beautiful chamber organ owned by a supporter of the group. This is now not possible with the supporter living a long way away from Cambridge and we have hired another wonderful instrument but this brings extra costs that we had not foreseen. 

This recording brings with it many logistical challenges in these strange times and we are flexible and adaptable to achieve our goals and your support is greatly appreciated. 




Eboracum Baroque is an ensemble of young professional singers and instrumentalists at the start of their classical music careers. We are passionate about performing baroque music in an accessible and engaging way. 

We need your help to raise £6000 to support our new recording of Handel's Messiah before our deadline of 4th December 2020. 

In these uncertain times, Eboracum Baroque is dedicated to supporting young freelance musicians with exciting and innovative projects. In one of our biggest projects to date, we plan to record our version of Handel's most celebrated work, Messiah. Any donation you can make is gratefully received and with some exciting rewards on offer, this is a unique opportunity to support an informed, engaging and fresh recording of a musical masterpiece. We need YOUR help to make this project a reality! Our Messiah performances at Christmas support Cancer Research UK, a charity which members of Eboracum Baroque hold close to their hearts. We are committed to donating 5% from the sale of every Messiah CD we sell, to Cancer Research UK.

'Stylish Choral Singing' - The Guardian 

'Spectacular' - Classic FM 


Our performances of Handel's Messiah at Christmas are an integral and important part of our year reaching large audiences across December. We have been determined to record this extraordinary music by Handel for so long and we now feel this is the most viable moment to do so as live performances with full audiences are not currently possible. 

We have assembled a fantastic team of Eboracum 'regulars' who will come together in December to work with a world class CD producer and record Messiah in full. We will present our version of the work we have performed for the past 8 years. It brings a fresh, exciting approach to  Handel's music in an informed style and on period instruments. 

Freelance musicians are in a perilous position in these unprecedented times and this project aims to support young musicians with paid work. We have confirmed 21 performers (singers and instrumentalists) to record in the fantastic acoustics of Horningsea Church near Cambridge from 17th-19th December 2020. 


PHOTO: Performing Messiah at Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge in 2019.


This work means a great deal to us. Since we first performed it as an ensemble in 2012 we have returned to it every Christmas and love performing it. It's packed full of exhilarating, reflective and joyous music of the highest quality by Handel. Messiah tells the story of Christ; his birth, life, death, resurrection and glory in heaven. This musical masterpiece is brimming with magnificent moments, from the excitement  of the expectant birth in 'For Unto Us a Child is Born', to the outpouring of grief in 'He was Despised' and the glorious 'Hallelujah Chorus'. It includes many of Handel's most famous and dramatic arias and choruses. 

We have been fortunate to perform this work to many sold out audiences with standing ovations in Cambridge (Great St Mary's Church, Senate House, Wimpole Church and St John's College Chapel) and further afield in Great Malvern and Guildford. After performances, audience members often ask if we have our Messiah CD for sale and we always have to say that one day we will. We want to make 'one day' now, so we can share our version of Messiah far and wide with audiences old and new. 

Although Messiah has been recorded many times before, we approach it in a new and innovative way. We use small forces, with the 11 singers acting as both chorus and soloists accompanied by single strings, organ (and harpsichord), trumpets and timpani. We perform on period instruments, aiming to recreate the sound-world that Handel originally composed for. We have used scholarly studies to help construct our own unique version, along with our own knowledge gained from performing the work for so long. It will include versions of arias from the original Dublin performance in 1742 through to London performances in the 1750s, as Handel tinkered with performances to best suit his performers on each occasion. We are creating our own bespoke Messiah performance which is different to previous recordings of this amazing work. 


We would usually be gearing up for our busy festive season and had three performances of Handel's Messiah planned for this December. With uncertainty in these times, concerts with audiences are completely unviable for professional performers. We believe this is the perfect opportunity to record this work and it may be the best chance we get to ever do it. We considered live streaming a performance this year but instead we want to create an everlasting project to share with our audiences and a wider community. A CD will also support the ensemble moving forward, with sales being invested back into the group for years to come and helping us to develop the work we do with concerts and education projects. 

Freelance musicians throughout the COVID 19 Pandemic have been hit extremely hard. As an ensemble our aim during these very difficult times has been to support our musicians as best we can. We've given a number of virtual performances which culminated in 'Heroic Handel' an online concert involving 25 musicians in July. We were also delighted to perform two outdoor concerts with live audiences at the Orchard Tea Garden in Grantchester near Cambridge at the end of August and beginning of September. We want to continue to provide support both musically and financially to our musicians and to continue to develop as an ensemble moving forward into 2021 with ambitious plans. 


PHOTO: Performing Messiah at Senate House, Cambridge in 2017.


Recording is an expensive process. We have to pay our performers, CD producer and sound engineer, venue hire, harpsichord hire and the creation of our CDs to share far and wide in 2021. We intend to share this disc with worldwide physical distribution and online streaming services. We are using funds from the ensemble to support this recording and writing a number of funding applications to raise the required funds. This crowdfunding campaign is an integral part of making this project possible and with YOUR support, we can make it happen! At the end of this project we will be able to offer a high quality recording for you to enjoy.

This is your chance to support a unique project featuring young musicians in challenging times.

We are offering a number of exciting rewards including a copy of the CD, an original print from an artist supporter of the group, a VIP drinks reception at the CD launch (later into 2021), a music lesson from a member of Eboracum Baroque (any instrument or voice type), exclusive recording of your favourite Christmas carol or your favourite movement of Handel's Messiah and a thank you for your support in online print and in the CD booklet. There are some really unique rewards on offer which can be personalised to you. Even for just £10 you'll receive our grateful thanks and a digital download of the Hallelujah Chorus from our new recording. 

Take a look at all our exciting rewards we have to offer on this page.  All supporters of this crowdfunding will automatically become a friend of the ensemble (available in different levels) and be invited to join our monthly mailing list to hear all about our exciting plans before anyone else. We could not function as an ensemble without our supporters who have followed our journey across eight years. Our audiences are an integral part to what we do. 


PHOTO: Original Print provided by Kate Heiss and our Eboracum Christmas Card!


We're incredibly grateful for you supporting this project, without your help this would not be possible. This will be an amazing musical experience to bring people together in challenging times and we can't wait to share the results with you first. In doing so you are supporting 21 young freelance musicians and backing an ambitious and innovative ensemble to continue to develop into the future. We would be very grateful if you could share this project far and wide with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all at @eboracumbaroque so please do give us a mention!

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to email [email protected]


We are aiming to record as a professional ensemble from 17th - 19th December 2020. We will be observing all the required social distancing and government guidelines and creating risk assessments. Should further restrictions be put in place that makes this recording impossible on those dates we will move to dates in early 2021, but we are very much planning to record in December 2020.


PHOTO: Filming at Handel House in October 2020. You can watch these exclusive videos on our YouTube Channel.

A bit more about us - Our biography

Eboracum Baroque is an ensemble of young professional singers and instrumentalists at the start of their classical music careers described as ‘Spectacular’ by Classic FM. The group was formed in 2012 by Chris Parsons at the University of York and the Royal College of Music and has performed all across the UK and Europe in prestigious venues and festivals including Senate House, Cambridge, The Temple Church, London and Christuskirche, Hannover. As well as their concert performances, they have given fully staged performances of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Handel’s Acis and Galatea. Performers in the group are graduates of the top music conservatoires and universities in the UK and Europe. 

Whilst performing music from across the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the ensemble has a particular specialism in English music from the 17th and 18th Century. In January 2015 Eboracum Baroque recorded their first CD which was funded by the National Trust and Arts Council England. The CD features forgotten music by the English Baroque composer Thomas Tudway (1650-1726), and was recorded at Wimpole Hall near Cambridge where Tudway worked from 1714-1726. It was described by The Guardian as ‘Stylish Choral Singing and playing.’  They endeavour to champion forgotten English composers from the period whilst still performing many famous works.

They perform at a number of National Trust properties across the UK presenting programmes unique to each properties history including Wimpole Hall, Oxburgh Hall and Canons Ashby.

In December 2015 the group went on its first major tour abroad with performances of Handel’s Messiah in Münster and Hannover in Germany, receiving standing ovations by sell-out audiences and encores of the Hallelujah chorus. In December 2016 they toured Estonia, with concerts of Bach Magnificat and Vivaldi Magnificat in Tartu and Tallinn, the latter being broadcast on Estonian National Radio. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the group have remained extremely active with themed virtual concerts, Spotlight concerts focussing on certain instruments in the group and a large scale project, ‘Heroic Handel’ which currently has had over 50,000 views on Facebook alone. 

The group run an active education programme which works with schools across the UK. Recent projects have been based around Handel’s Water Music and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Eboracum Baroque are delighted to continue to work with the Horrible Histories author, Terry Deary on a number of projects where they hope to introduce the next generation of musicians to Baroque music. Performances with Terry have included a new narration of Purcell’s King Arthur and The Fairy Queen and a show called ‘The Glorious Georgians’ which received 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Their 2nd CD ‘Sounds of Suffolk’ was released in November 2018 and features forgotten music from 18th century Suffolk including violin sonatas by Joseph Gibbs and music from Ickworth House.

For more news and upcoming concerts please visit our website at www.eboracumbaroque.co.uk and follow us on Facebook (@eboracumbaroque) and Twitter (@eboracumbaroque) and Instagram (@eboracumbaroque)

1600638019_119047744_3213323475382664_7248752894283754475_o.jpgPhoto taken after our most recent performance in September 2020 at Orchard Tea Garden, Grantchester where we presented a programme of chamber music (including lots of Handel!)


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£30 or more

Your own copy of our Messiah CD

Your very own copy of our Messiah CD sent straight to your door with a personal note from Chris Parsons and the musicians of Eboracum Baroque. Your name will also be included in the CD booklet. We’ll also send you a personalised ‘Eboracum’ Christmas card. Plus all the rewards of a £10 pledge.

£10 or more

Grateful thanks and a digital download track.

We're incredibly grateful for your support. You'll receive a digital download of the Hallelujah Chorus from our new recording of Messiah to enjoy. You'll also receive a personal thank you from our Artistic Director and your name will appear on our website, concert programmes and on social media.

£50 or more

A signed Messiah CD and exclusive video content

Your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah from Chris Parsons and members of Eboracum Baroque. We'll also share with you an exclusive behind the scenes video on how we did the recording. We’ll also send you a personalised ‘Eboracum’ Christmas card. Plus all the rewards of a £10 pledge and inclusion of your name in the CD Booklet.

£100 or more

VIP Drinks at our CD launch, Messiah CD and MORE!

All the rewards of a £50 pledge PLUS you’ll receive 2 tickets to our VIP drinks reception at our launch concert (when this is possible). You become a ‘Purcell Member’ of our friends scheme (exclusive benefits for one season). We’ll also send you a personalised ‘Eboracum’ Christmas card.

£180 or more

1 of 8 claimed

Exclusive Christmas carol recording and MORE!

Christmas is coming! Your favourite Christmas carol exclusively recorded for you by members of Eboracum Baroque and ready to send to you and your loved ones this Christmas. PLUS your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah and an invite (two tickets) to our VIP drinks at our launch concert. A 'Handel Member' of our friends scheme (for one year). Plus you’ll be able to watch our exclusive concert ‘Fairest Isle: Music of England’.

£500 or more

0 of 4 claimed

Exclusive aria or chorus recorded for you AND MORE

We’ll film any movement (aria or chorus) from Handel’s Messiah exclusively for you during our recording sessions and send it to you before Christmas. Plus you’ll be able to watch our exclusive concert ‘Fairest Isle: Music of England’ which has been filmed to thank our top supporters. PLUS your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah and an invite (two tickets) to our VIP drinks at our launch concert. A 'Handel Member' of our friends scheme (for one year)

£1,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Exclusive private chamber music concert

An exclusive performance in your home/garden (date in 2021 TBC). We will work with you to create your perfect programme of music from the Baroque era. PLUS your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah and an invite (two tickets) to our VIP drinks at our launch concert. A 'Handel Member' of our friends scheme (for one year). Plus you’ll be able to watch our exclusive concert ‘Purcell songs and dances’ which has been filmed to thank our top supporters.

£150 or more

5 of 5 claimed

A music lesson with a member of Eboracum and MORE!

Enjoy a 1 hour music lesson on your instrument or voice type of choice given by one of the professional musicians from Eboracum Baroque. This could make a perfect present! These can either be given online or in person (when possible at a suitable venue). You become a ‘Handel Member’ of our friends scheme (more exclusive benefits for one year). Your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah. We’ll also send you a personalised ‘Eboracum' Christmas Card.

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Original Linocut Print and MORE!

Collaborating with printmaker Kate Heiss, you can own an original of her linocut 'Punting at Cambridge' (see the main crowdfunding page for a picture). PLUS your very own *SIGNED* CD of Messiah and an invite (two tickets) to our VIP drinks at our launch concert. We’ll also send you a personalised ‘Eboracum' Christmas card.

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