Celebration of Christmas in aid of Age Concern

Sunday, 6 December 2009

For our annual Christmas concert in aid of Age Concern we were joined as usual by tenor and local radio presenter Jon Christos, and by ace chamber choir Notability. Soprano Jenny Williams joined us too, for a most welcome second appearance. The aim in drawing up the programme was to have something for everyone, and I'd like to think we succeeded. As well as the musical fare, we had readings and reminiscences from local celebrities and dignitaries. Bishop Brain led us in prayer at the end.

For a celebration in early Advent it was unashamedly Christmas-themed. This was the eighth year in succession we’ve hosted the event, and the first couple of times we did it, I tried to give it an overall Advent feel. But somehow it doesn’t feel right to round off a celebration like this with a rousing chorus of Come, thou long expected Jesus, and people seem to like it better this way.

My feeling is that if we were more fastidious about the timing of Christmas musical celebrations, we could miss out on communicating the Christmas message itself to people it might otherwise not reach. In a week or so’s time we’re hitting the pubs of Salford, this time in aid of St Ann’s Hospice, Little Hulton, but with the same ulterior motive in mind.

Cathedral Choir & Notability
The Truth from Above (Vaughan Williams)
O Come all ye Faithful
Wassail Song (trad., arr Vaughan Williams)
The night he was born (Bob Chilcott)
O little town of Bethlehem
Jon Christos
The Three Kings (Peter Cornelius) – with Cathedral Choir
Jon Christos & Jenny Williams
In the Bleak Midwinter (Harold Darke) – with Notability & Cathedral Choir
Good King Wenceslas
Cathedral Choir
Gaudete (trad., trans. Bob Hurd, arr. Craig Kingsbury)
Once in Royal David’s City
Stille Nacht (Franz Gruber, arr. Ward Swingle)
Ding Dong Merrily on High (G R Woodward, Christopher Cotton)
Anthony Hunt
Prelude on ‘God rest you merry, gentlemen’ (John Rutter)
Cathedral Choir
O Magnum Mysterium (Morten Lauridsen)
Jon Christos & Jenny Williams Panis Angelicus (C├ęsar Franck)
O Holy Night (Adolphe Adam)
Singalong led by Jon & Jenny
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Anthony Hunt
Chorale Prelude on ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ (J.S. Bach)

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