A special charity performance is being held at Winchester College Chapel on Good Friday to celebrate the 300-year anniversary of Bach’s St John Passion, and raise funds for vital eye research at the University of Southampton.

Bach Winchester Voices (BWV) will perform the haunting and dramatic musical depiction of the Passion of Christ, as told in the Gospel of John in the stunning surroundings of the Chapel.

Guests are invited to pre-performance drinks, where members of the University’s vision science team and the Gift of Sight Appeal will be sharing updates on their latest work, investigating new treatments for blinding eye diseases.

Bach Winchester Voices is a choir assembled by local Bach enthusiast, Jon Newman, from Crawley, Winchester. Professional musicians and young singers from the Royal College of Music and the BBC Singers have joined forces with Jon’s ‘Crawley Bachistas’ for this Good Friday performance, led by principal conductor, Andrew Hayman.

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Hampshire Chronicle: The ceiling in Winchester College ChapelThe ceiling in Winchester College Chapel (Image: Winchester College)

The event will be supporting Gift of Sight. The Gift of Sight Appeal is dedicated to raising funds to support vision research at the University of Southampton.

Jon Newman said: "Having been a passionate Bach enthusiast all my life, I am incredibly excited to organise this anniversary performance, 300 years since the first performance in Leipzig on Good Friday in 1724.

“To be able to perform with amazing singers and musicians, whilst raising money for such an important charity is just wonderful. Professor Lotery’s team of scientists at the University of Southampton are helping develop new treatments to save people’s sight.

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"As musicians, we recognise the importance of all of our senses, especially vision, which enables us to read this remarkable manuscript. It is very fitting, therefore, that we are supporting the Gift of Sight Appeal.”

The event will take place at Winchester College Chapel on Friday, March 29. Seats are available for £30 in the Nave and £20 in the side Chantry. Prices include a drinks reception from 6pm before the performance commences at 7pm.

For more information including how to book, visit store.southampton.ac.uk/events. Seats can also be reserved by telephone on 023 8059 7239.