A VICTORIAN harmonium is being transported to a chapel from a West Yorkshire instrument museum, for a special concert by Stokesley and District Choral Society.

The event, at Stokesley Methodist Church on Saturday, April 12, features Rossini's Petite Mess Solennelle. The harmonium will provide the authentic sound.

Society conductor John Porter said he would use Rossini's original scoring for harmonium and piano for the performance.

He said the society was hiring a harmonium from the Museum of Victorian Reed Organs and Harmoniums at Saltaire, near Bradford.

The instrument will be played by Jonathan Scott, who regularly performs with the Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras.

Mr Scott is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and gained a gold medal for the piano and organ. He undertook further study in New York and Holland. With the BBC Philharmonic, he has performed at BBC Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and on BBC Radio 3.

John Wilson will play the piano. The pair have performed together on many occasions, and will also perform a short set of pieces originally written for harmonium and piano.

Speaking of the programme, Mr Porter said: "This particular work was first performed privately in 1864, at the Paris home of a friend and benefactor of Rossini. It had 12 singers, plus piano and harmonium.

"It was not performed publicly until 1869, after Rossini's death. And that performance had a full orchestra.

"Stokesley Choral Society is using the original scoring for harmonium and piano. The harmonium we have hired dates from 1880 and was built by the Paris firm, Mustel. It's reed sound is exactly the authentic sound Rossini required. It's the finest in its class and has been used for recordings and broadcasts, including on the Songs of Praise TV programme, and in the Royal Albert Hall and other famous venues."

The concert starts at 7.45 and tickets can be bought from Cathy King on 01642 710308