CITY CHORUS 2012 CHRISTMAS TOUR
Tony and the Committee set up a new version of our Christmas Concert programme. The posters, flyers and other advertising promoted it as
City Chorus, Letchworth Community Choir, 2012 Christmas Tour.
Saturday December 8th
We started with our Charity Gala Concert, (profits to Garden House Hospice) , returning to St Michael’s Church and it’s lovely acoustic.
A small working party had been busy during the previous weekends, building, adapting and painting staging boxes to house the chairs now needed for the 80 singers.
The programme included performances by the Broxbourne Handbell Ringers,and organ solos by Dr.Stephen Rose.
Janet and Phil shared the piano playing; this included a solo duet (Thunder and Lightning Polka) which started the second half, as well as a couple of duets when accompanying the choir and playing drums and tambourine at times.
David Adam, (someone connected to our alto leader,Claire???) set a new standard in compering.
Nat took on some of the conducting, especially the men’s rendition of the Bing Crosby/David Bowie classic version of Little Drummer Boy, and Jingle Bells with some of the chorus vigorously shaking bells.
Broxbourne Handbell Ringers- Ukrainian Bell Carol; Welsh Carol(trad); In the Bleak Midwinter: and Angels we have heard on High.
Stephen Rose; In Dulce Jubilo (Pierpont arr. D.Willcocks)
Chorus; Angels’ Carol; Away in a Manger (women’s voices); Gaudete; Breath of Heaven; Walking in the Air; Infant holy, Infant lowly; In Dulce Jubilo; The Shepherds’ Farewell, Little Drummer Boy (mens’s voices); Jingle Bells; When a Child is Born (soloist Tony); Have yourself a merry little Christmas (soloist Vanessa); Great Great Joy.
Whole ensemble; O Come all ye Faithfull; Hark the Herald Angels Sing; Jingle Bells.
Wednesday December 12th
The second concert of the Tour took place at St. Mary’s Church, Ashwell, a venue we have not performed in before. We invited Pasque Harmony Ladies Choir, (the choir which exiled member Chris Fox belonged to) to join us for a Choral Christmas Concert to raise funds for our respective charities. Pasque support Keech Hospice at Luton and City Chorus support Garden House Hospice, here in Letchworth Garden City.
It was a very cold night, the church is old with a very high roof and we seemed to find the worst draught!. The audience came well wrapped up and settled down to enjoy the evening. Tony and Nat were our conductors as usual, with Janet and Phil playing the piano. Margaret Blenkin directs Pasque Harmony- we saw her singing during their pieces too.
We alternated performing during both halves of the concert and joined together for the final piece in each half.
We repeated the songs and carols from our Gala Concert. Pasque Harmony Choir’s pieces were Santa Clause is coming to Town; White Christmas; Sweet Little Jesus Boy; Go Tell it on the Mountain; Away in a Manger; Pachelbel’s Canon; The Twelve Days after Christmas!: For Him all Stars have Shone; Bethlehem; The Snow; and Oh Holy Night.
Ensemble (end of first half) Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; (end of second half) Walking in the Air.
Friday December 14th
The third and final event in our Tour took place in the Letchworth Garden City Church in Icknield Way. Converted from one of the Irvin Parachute Factories, it presents a very different ambience from our previous two venues.
We had been invited to be on the bill of a concert headlined by the ‘London Community Gospel Choir’. We were the opening ‘act’.
Tony chose four pieces to show the range of our repertoire. They were:
In Dulce Jubilo; Gaudete; Breath of Heaven; and Great, Great Joy.
We enjoyed performing them and received a very appreciative response from the large audience.
We then settled back, with the audience, to enjoy the Pixmore Junior School Choir which led up to the interval. After this the Gospel Choir took the stage. There were not very many of them- 10 singers and a very good small group of musicians (keyboard, guitar and drums).
Their performance of the various Gospel songs was very energetic, both for them and the enthusiastic audience who joined in the clapping etc as well as with some of the singing.
We were chuffed to be asked to join them in the Finale, ‘ O Happy Day’ ; which repeats and repeats for about 6 minutes.
We left with memories of exuberance and happiness from all concerned.
We finished our season on Wednesday December 19th with an evening of feedback, mince pies, tea/coffee and a lot of singing.