Christmas Concert 2015

On Tuesday, December 22, a full congregation at Cirencester Parish Church was treated to a varied programme of Christmas Music, performed by the Cirencester Choral Society in aid of Cirencester Housing for Young People (CHYP).
The choir delivered a festive programme under the musical direction of Carleton Etherington, the highlights of which were “On this day Earth shall ring” by Haldane Stewart, “Infant holy, infant lowly” arranged by Willcocks, “Zion hears the watchmen’s voices” – Rutter’s arrangement of Bach’s Cantata 140 – and “Magnificat in D” by Pachelbel. The Willcocks and Rutter items were a celebration of Rutter’s 70th Birthday and the late Willcocks’ life.
At various points, there were congregational Christmas hymns led by the choir. There was also a collaborative performance between the congregation and the choir of “My Guardian Angel” by Judith Weir. The congregation was directed to sing “Alleluia” above the choir’s counterpoint.
With each number, the choir gained more confidence as they acclimatised to the large acoustic space; the subtlety in their dynamics had developed nicely by the second half. Throughout all of the numbers performed, the choir and congregation were privileged to be supported by David Whitehead on the organ.
The choir was later joined by Judith Paris to perform “The twelve days of Christmas”. Judith broke up the tune with hilarious narratives that provided much entertainment.
The audience also enjoyed performances from Major Pipework. This impressive recorder consort delivered an array of seasonal items under the direction of Terry Hobbs. It was a joy to hear the magical sound of a traditional recorder ensemble.
This concert was everything a Christmas concert should be, uplifting, vibrant and was well received all round.
James Agg
26 December 2015