Celebrate! 2023

Celebrate! 2023
Type of post: Choir news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Ollie Jones
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 15 Jan 2024
The day of the concert was as blustery and stormy as the previous two days had been, which made hair and make up an issue! Mostly for the boys though. We had to do quite a big set up as the church had been in use that day, so there was a lot to do, but we got there just in time, and our audience were welcomed in from the wind and rain, filling the main body and balcony of the church. 

We kicked things off with the classic Paul McCartney number, Wonderful Christmastime, with Paul and the boys doing a sterling job of the lead vocals. It was a lively celebratory number and the perfect way to start the evening. 
Phil Marshall from St John’s opening in prayer for us, his Sprout jacket from previous years having been augmented with some glorious flashing shoes, and we lead straight in to the beautiful Do You Hear What I Hear, a plea for peace in our time. Our audience joined in with Once in Royal David’s City, then after a reading by Liz, we started a very beautiful reflective choral section with Brittan’s challenging There is No Rose. The ‘second page’ version of Away in a Manger, chosen especially by Alice, was our next beautiful song, then ReMix stepped up to sing the Stopford Lully, a haunting, lamenting setting of the Coventry Carol with a glorious descant by Katie. Errolyn Wallen’s Peace on Earth, inspired by the previous Carols at Kings came next, with the unison melody beautifully challenging the circling chords on the piano. David read the story of the Shepherds, and ReMix sang the evocative Shepherd’s Carol. The tempo lifted slightly with the Sweet Chiming Christmas Bells version of While Shepherd’s Watched, and the band took things to a new level, finishing the first half with Glory to God in the Highest, with added Sax from Shaun and Lotte. 
After an interval filled with mince pies and Karen’s secret cordial recipe, now handed down to Liz, we kicked the second half off with Warm this Winter, a lively romantic tale of snowballs and skating! Somewhere in My Memory continued the nostalgic feel, with a lovely descant from Millie, then the choir took us with them as we went A-Wassailing around the houses! After that, the congregation joined us for We Three Kings with an ever increasing Oh between verse and chorus. 
Christmas isn’t Christmas now without an Austin special, and this year’s was beautiful- It’s Only Christmas filled us with joy and memories. Then our closing sequence started with The Power of Love, sung by Reflect with a complex and intense arrangement, followed by Sarah’s poem, and the lights dimmed, candles were lit and the snow fell as Colin sang Silent as a Snowflake, and the choir hummed Silent Night underneath. Shaun’s lovely piano lead us beautifully in to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and the trumpet opening of Hark brought our evening nearer the end. 
Phil closed in prayer for us, and then Millie and Harriet refused to let us end things there, cuing Tim to kick off All I Want for Christmas is You! It was a wonderful evening, the perfect start to the festive season, and everyone left the church on a real high, ready to go back to their homes and get Christmas underway!