Premiere of unique Michael Jackson Mass

On June 10, 2016, a unique classical Mass inspired by various songs of the King of Pop will premiere in the Dutch town of Hattem. The ‘Missa in honorem Michael Jackson’ will be performed by the twenty members of the Huygens Vocal Ensemble.

Missa in honorem Michael Jackson

Two reasons to celebrate

The Mass has been composed by Hans Tijssen, who this year not only celebrates his 20th anniversary as founder and conductor of the Huygens Vocal Ensemble, but also celebrates his 50th birthday. All the more reason for a memorable concert.

Inspiration in Los Angeles

Tijssen composed a first draft of his uniquely themed Mass during his visit to Los Angeles in 2015. At the time, he stayed with musician-composer Craig Huxley who worked with Jackson for many years. Tijssen and Huxley discovered that Jackson was a mutual source of inspiration.

After only two weeks, the first ideas for a classical Michael Jackson Mass were jotted down on paper. In March 2016, Tijssen completed his music composition, which is now set to premiere in Tijssen’s native town of Hattem in the Netherlands.

Modern composers and old masters

The Mass consists of five pieces of music that reveal a few surprising influences besides Jackson. The harmonies, for example, refer to the works of modern sacred music composers such as Arvo Pärt and Frank Martin, whereas the polyphonic structure of the pieces shows the influence of old masters. The ecclectic mix is bound to surprise. Tijssen’s ‘Agnus Dei’, for example, has been modelled on Jackson’s legendary ‘Billie Jean’.

Huygens Vocal Ensemble

The Huygens Vocal Ensemble is named after Constantijn Huygens, who is best-known as a poet, but who was also an important diplomat and an outstanding composer and musician. Inspired by his versatility, the Huygens Vocal Ensemble aims to perform classical vocal music in a variety of programs that combine a cappella choral works with other forms of art.

Program information

In addition to ‘Missa in honorem Michael Jackson’, the program on June 10 will include various other vocal and instrumental works composed by Tijssen. The premiere takes place in St. Andrew’s Church (Grote Kerk) in Hattem at 8:30 pm. A second concert will be held in the city of Deventer (Bergkerk) on Saturday June 18, also starting at 8:30 pm.

Tickets are for sale through the online store at

Missa in honorem Michael Jackson poster


3 thoughts on “Premiere of unique Michael Jackson Mass”

  1. However Michael Jackson is not my thing, this really can be an interesting and beautiful piece of music. I hope it will become available on CD in the near future. Only if you use latin, please use the right form: ‘Missa in honorem Michaeli Jacksoni’ (OK, dit klingt voor geen meter).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Hans, the concert was recorded on tape, but I am not sure if the recording will be published. It’s not on YouTube yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for any audio or video material. As for the Latin genitive, you are right. But it sounds better the ‘wrong’ way 🙂


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