Saturday, 4 December 2010

Singing Hallelujah! at a fast food restaurant

And He shall reign for ever and ever

Joel Kontinen

Praising God has been an essential part of Christmas since a group of shepherds at Bethlehem first got to know of the Messiah’s birth. However, few of us have seen a performance like the one that the customers at a Canadian fast food restaurant saw on November 13th this year.

As the pianist finishes playing Jingle Bells at the restaurant in Welland, Ontario, a dark-haired young woman wearing a red scarf pushes her tray forward. Speaking on a cell phone, she stands up and begins to sing the chorus of George Fridrich Handel’s Messiah. A man in a blue hoodie soon joins her. A couple in the food queue do the same. Then, a man and woman stand up on chairs to sing.

Some of the customers look puzzled but others begin to take pictures with their cell phones. Soon the entire fast food restaurant rings of praise to God.

Instead of performing on stage, the 80 singers of the Chorus Niagara sang where they happened to be, among the other customers of the restaurant. The woman who sang with a cell phone to her ear is soprano Stephanie Tritchew, who, thanks to YouTube, became a star.

Judging from the applause, the public was pleased with what they heard. With over 9 million YouTube views, the performance has certainly become a hit.

The singers wanted to ”spread Christmas cheer” at the mall.

In doing that they succeeded exceedingly well.


Debora Van Brenk. 2010. Handel's Messiah flash mob a Youtube smash. Toronto Sun. (1 December).