In very windy and cold conditions-it seems that we only perform concerts in weather extremities, a superb audience of 200 amazingly arrived to enjoy the Christmas Concert 2018 - "A Winter's Tale".
The evening began with the well known piece, " It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the year" followed by "The Christmas Song" It was then time for the ladies group to amuse the audience with their version of the “Christmas Alphabet”. It was then back to the choir for their rendition of the song that inspired the concert title -“The Winters Tale“ , originally sung by David Essex. This is a favourite of the choir and was sung with gusto.
It was then over to the men’s group who remained nameless this year with their own version of "Christmas Is All Around" from the modern classic film, "Love Actually". This was warmly appreciated and sung in honour of Peter a member of the group who had updated the lyrics but was unable to be with us on the evening due to having a heart attack on the previous Monday. I’m pleased to report is making a good recovery and back in rehearsals.
The next song was one of our most challenging to learn, “Where Are You Christmas“, originally a solo piece which the choir had enjoyed being challenged by and the audience's warm response indicated they hadn't done a bad job performing it either. This was followed by another opportunity to perform Mike's original piece, “Shining Star" -we really now seem to have got the hang of this challenging score - appreciation was shown for this rousing tune.
The next solo was meant to be by Peter and we are very grateful to the ever accomplished and beautiful voice of Barbara who stepped in at the last minute to sing, "A Child is Born". It was then the first performance of the haunting “Oh Holy Night“ and beautiful “Silent Night“ in German and English without music scores! The audience reaction made all the learning of words worthwhile.
We were thrilled that this was followed by a piano solo by Pam as she performed the well known carol "In the Bleak Midwinter'. We are really pleased to see members using their instrumental skills to adding another dimension to our concerts and the choir were earlier treated to support from Gill and Connie, our resident violinist.
It was then time for Chris and Vince to present the charity spot and explain how Billericay Baptist Church and Christ Church have supported the choir since its launch five years ago. They explained that any donations were to be used as a thank you gift for the two churches.
This was followed by specially arranged fun piece, “Ding Dong Merrily on High“ - the choir really enjoyed singing the echoes which added to the performance. The next song was probably the other most challenging one we had learnt and another Mike production,“What child is this?“ This is the first time the choir has sung this with any real confidence - the audience really liked it - I can see this becoming a future favourite!
We then experienced a delightful performance by a mixed male and female ensemble "Born is the Light of the World" - I have a feeling this won't be the last we hear from this group.
The choir then finished the concert singing a well-known modern favourite “Mary Did You Know” , a truly beautiful Christian song. The final piece was the Christmas medley which included: "Sleigh Ride, White Christmas, Winter Wonderland finishing with Jingle Bells". Chris and Vince felt privileged to present gifts to our outstanding professionals who have made such a difference to our singing and members who added to "A Winter's Tale" by their individual and group performances. The evening was finished with an encore of "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the year".
The choir are very grateful for all the lovely positive and supportive comments they recieved and the wonderful donation gift of £600 which we are delighted to have been able to present to the two churches.
Debs leads the way,
Barbara serenades the audience
Mike and Gill and Connie
accompany the choir,
The ladies and men's groups entertain, the sopranos and altos enjoy bringing the spirit of Christmas