Saturday 16th December and Thursday 21st December 2017
Steventon Village Hall, Steventon
Musical director: Terry Pearce
Organist: Robert Thomas
Proceeds of Saturday’s concert went to the MSA Trust, which works to support those affected by multiple system atrophy (MSA), a progressive and incurable neurological disease.
The concert of carols and Christmas songs began with the choir singing the title song, Winter Wonderland. This was followed by two traditional Christmas pieces, Christmas Is Coming and List Our Merry Carol (second verse sung by Helen Bell and Michelle Jochym), and – in sharp contrast – Frosty the Snowman. Then it was time for the audience to join with the choir in singing three well-known carols – A Child This Day Is Born, In the Bleak Midwinter and Good King Wenceslas. The choir then sang four carols – an arrangement of O Little Town of Bethlehem by Walford Davies (soloist Rebecca Joisce), The Three Kings by Peter Cornelius (soloist Howard Feather), Deck The Hall and Away In A Manger (a version by Reginald Jacques based on a traditional Normandy tune). The first half ended with the choir singing three Christmas songs – Jingle Bell Rock, A Bit of Holiday Cheer and God Bless US Everyone.
The second half began with the choir singing The Christmas Song (known to many as Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire), before a small group (Terry Pearce, Helen Pearce, Trish Napper, Caroline Miller, Vivienne Dann, John Hunt, Hugh Hercus, Edward Dann and Andy Softley) sang a song about Carol Singers and a trio of ladies (Helen Pearce, Abby Evans and Elizabeth Dobson) sang an arrangement of the 1940s song, Let It Snow. Then it was the turn of the audience to sing again – Once in Royal David’s City and While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night. Two light-hearted numbers followed from the choir – The 12 Days of Christmas (with props and actions) and The 12 Days After Christmas – a humorous song about what happens afterwards. Helen Pearce then sang Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, a song made famous by Judy Garland in the musical Meet Me In St Louis, and Terry Pearce led the audience in singing Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer, accompanying himself on the guitar. The choir returned to sing two John Rutter carols, Candlelight Carol and Christmas Lullaby, before the last of the audience participation carols – O Come All Ye Faithful. The concert ended with the choir singing Sing Out The News (with Helen Bell and Michelle Jochym) and the Hallelujan Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Handel’s Messiah – Voices for Hospices 2017
Soprano: Helen Pearce
Mezzo Soprano: Rebecca Joisce
Contralto: Elizabeth Dobson
Tenor: Howard Feather
Bass-Baritone: Leslie MacLeod-Miller
In aid of Sir Michael Sobell House Hospice on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day