Montgomery County Music Festival returns to Newtown with Handel's Messiah which was first performed at the historic festival 100 years ago.

A choir made up of singers from across Montgomeryshire, Radnorshire and Shropshire will perform with an orchestra at The Hafren theatre from 7.30pm on Saturday, May 4.

A festival spokesperson said: "Please come and enjoy the splendour of live performance and the energy of The Messiah."

This year marks the first event since the festival's president of more than 50 years Lord David Davies of Llandinam died in February.


"Lord Davies was not only a good patron of the festival, but he also sang in the bass section of the choir for many years," a tribute from the festival organisers said.

"He was a great encouragement to the different committees throughout the years but always remaining a quiet and unassuming presence."

Following what organisers described as the "great success" of last year's centenary concert, which was delayed by the pandemic, there were doubts that the festival would continue.

However, a new committee is being formed to carry the festival forward with conductor Patrick Larley continuing as leader.

A spokesperson for the festival said: "Patrick’s choice of work - ‘Handel’s Messiah’ - is also coincidental as we found from records and a photograph of a poster belonging to Gregynog Hall, that the festival first performed Messiah exactly 100 years ago in 1924." 

They added: "As with most groups within the performing arts, funding grants patronage is becoming harder to sustain so it would be wonderful to have the encouragement of a large audience to help the continuation of this our own county music festival."

The orchestra uses professional musicians from the borders area with guest Continuo player, Aeron Preston. Professional soloists are soprano Gemma King, contralto Helena Cooke, tenor William Smith and bass Ben Watkins."

Tickets are available from The Hafren theatre, online, from the box office or at the door on the night.