A Ceremony of Carols – Christmas concert review

Our Christmas concert lived up to the expectations of the choir and the audience with a wonderful programme spanning from the atmospheric classical Britten piece – A Ceremony of Carols – to popular songs and traditional Carols.

We opened with the Britten and with the help of the amazing Cecily Beer, accompanying us on the harp, and soloist Camilla Jeppeson, gave a thoughtful and characterful performance. There was a real feel of a wintry Christmas and times past as we progressed through the piece.

Turning our attention to the ubiquitous Rutter the audience were delighted with the better known Nativity Carol and Star Carol pieces.

We were all treated to a sparkling duet by Camilla Jeppeson, Soprano (usually our accompanist) and Cecily Beer, Harpist (resident harpist at the Waldorf Hotel). Two songs: A hymn to the Virgin and Jesukin, and in the second half Camilla performed the delightful piece ‘Ah! Je veux vivre’ from Roméo et Juliette, this time accompanied by our own Musical Director Julie Aherne. Working with our choir their responsibilities are the other way about, so it was lovely to hear them together in roles they are better known for (check out their websites to see how lucky we are to have them).

It was wonderful to experience these top-class musicians performing at our Concert, topped off with a solo, in the second half, from Cecily Beer on the harp. An intriguing piece Clair de Noël – Christmas variations on Clair de lune.

The concert also featured audience participation Carols and these were enthusiastically attempted by everyone. A complimentary supper provided by members of the choir, and our popular hamper raffle were both enjoyed in the interval.

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the John Lewis Adverts so we gave suitable service to three of the charming songs used in recent years. Your song, Somewhere Only We Know, and The Power of Love (Frankie goes to Hollywood). These were enthusiastically received and our splendid renditions, no doubt stopped John Lewis profits from plummeting even more this year!

The choir offered solo performances: White Christmas beautifully sung by Sue Campbell, Karen Ballard, Connie Pierre and, by Rosalind Taylor joining with the choir singing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. These popular Christmas standards were rapturously applauded by our appreciative audience.

With a light reading from Brenda Frost about a little lamb’s experience of the first Christmas and finishing with a magical version of O Holy night the choir once again gave a concert we can be proud of, with something in it for everyone. A varied programme we felt able to tackle due to the tireless encouragement, skills and patience of Julie Aherne.

Don’t miss our next concert on Saturday 28th March 7:30 pm when will be exploring the idea of Home and what it means to us near and far.

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