Concerts 2018-2019

December Delights – a concert of Christmas music at Steventon Village Hall
Saturday 15th December 2018 and Thursday 20th December
Musical director: Terry Pearce
Pianist: Robert Thomas

The Saturday concert was given in aid of the Oxfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre at nearby Milton Park.

The concert began with the choir singing Merry, Merry Christmas and Sing Out The News. Then it was the turn of the audience to join in to sing Ding Dong Merrily on High, We Three Kings (with Hugh Hercus, Edward Dann and Jack Jarvis as the kings) and In the Bleak Midwinter. Next was Abby Evans with Hey Mr Snowman – a song recorded by Kim Wilde in 2013, The Russian Carol sung by all the ladies in the choir, and an arrangement of Robbie Williams’ song, Angels, sung by Helen Pearce, Rebecca Joisce, Patricia Sadler, Helen Bell, Michelle Jochym, Danielle Beeken, Abby Evans and Frances Brightman. John Rutter’s Christmas Lullaby sung by the full choir was followed by There is No Rose from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols sung by Michelle Jochym, Helen Bell and Frances Brightman. The choir returned to sing two pieces – a 16th century carol, Gaudete, with soloist Rebecca Joisce who provided a rousing accompaniment on her Irish frame drum, and the Sans Day Carol arranged by John Rutter. Helen Pearce and Abby Evans sang the duet Pie Jesu by Andrew Lloyd-Webber from his Requiem, before a group of ladies from the choir (Helen Pearce, Rebecca Joisce, Patricia Sadler, Trish Napper, Helen Bell, Michelle Jochym, Caroline Miller, Danielle Beeken, Abby Evans, Frances Brightman, Vivienne Dann and Janet Money) sang a four-part arrangement of Silent Night. John Hunt then entertained us with a humorous story about a school nativity play before the first half ended with two audience carols: While Shepherds Watched and Once In Royal David’s City.

The second half began with Howard Feather singing the 1950s Christmas novelty song, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, and then ‘sleeping’ as a chorus of five dancing hippos appeared – he ‘woke’ up and gave a big hug to the naughty hippo who couldn’t dance and was left behind.Then it was time for an audience carol, O Come All Ye Faithful, and for the choir to sing Blue Christmas, a song made famous by Elvis Presley. A small group (Helen Pearce, Rebecca Joisce, Patricia Sadler, Helen Bell, Michelle Jochym, Danielle Beeken, Abby Evans and Frances Brightman) sang the 12 Days or So of Christmas before the choir sang the rousing Hark The Glad Sound and the lullaby, Hush My Dear. A ladies trio ((Helen Pearce, Abby Evans and Frances Brightman) then sang an arrangement of Fascinating Rhythm by George and Ira Gershwin from the 1924 musical Lady Be Good. A highlight of the evening was a men’s quartet (Howard Feather, Luke Le Maitre, Phil Brazier and Crispin George) then sang arrangements of the African-American spiritual, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Here I Am, Lord, the hymn written by the American composer, Dan Schutte, in 1981. This was followed by the choir singing The Little Road to Bethlehem, Helen Pearce singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (sung by Judy Garland in the musical Meet Me In St Louis) and the choir singing A Christmas Blessing by Philip Stopford. The concert ended with a stirring performance of Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah by the choir.

Christmas Concert at Harwell Village Hall
Saturday 8th December 2018
Musical director: Terry Pearce
Pianist: Robert Thomas

Concert given in aid of the Hall Redevelopment Project

This festive concert began with the choir singing a traditional carol, List Our Merry Carol, and two popular Christmas songs – Frosty the Snowman and Winter Wonderland. Then it was the turn of the audience to join in to sing Ding Dong Merrily on High, O Come All Ye Faithful and O Little Town of Bethlehem. The first of the evening’s items featuring solos or small groups of singers from within the choir was Abby Evans with Hey Mr Snowman – a song recorded by Kim Wilde in 2013. Abby was then joined by Frances Brightman to sing an arrangement of the song by Howard Blake, Walking In the Air, from the animated film The Snowman. Next was the 12 Days or So of Christmas sung by Helen Pearce, Rebecca Joisce, Patricia Sadler, Helen Bell, Michelle Jochym, Danielle Beeken, Abby Evans and Frances Brightman. The concert continued with choir singing The Three Kings by Peter Cornelius (solo: Howard Feather), Deck the Hall, We Three Kings (with Hugh Hercus, Edward Dann and Jack Jarvis as the kings) and an arrangement by Michael Clawson of the traditional carol The First Noel intertwined with the tune of Pachelbel’s famous Canon in D. The first half of the concert concluded with two more audience carols: Good King Wenceslas and Hark The Herald Angels Sing.

The second half began with the choir singing three pieces: God Bless Us Everyone, Christmas Song (also known as Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) and an arrangement of In the Bleak Midwinter. A small group of mixed voices (Helen Pearce, Trish Napper, Caroline Miller, Vivienne Dann, John Hunt, Edward Dann and Terry Pearce) then performed the humorous song, The Carol Singers, and a trio (Helen Pearce, Abby Evans and Frances Brightman) sang an arrangement of Let It Snow. Helen Pearce remained centre stage to sing Count Your Blessings (instead of sheep), a popular song written by Irving Berlin and used in the 1954 film White Christmas. Next came two more for the audience to join in with: While Shepherds Watched and Once In Royal David’s City before a trio of ladies (Michelle Jochym, Helen Bell and Frances Brightman) sang There is No Rose from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and the choir sang John Rutter’s arrangement of the Sans Day Carol. A men’s quartet (Howard Feather, Luke Le Maitre, Phil Brazier and Crispin George) then sang arrangements of the African-American spiritual, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and Here I Am, Lord, the hymn written by the American composer, Dan Schutte, in 1981. Three pieces from the choir – Jingle Bell Rock, Sing Out The News and the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah – ended the concert.