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It was Christmas again!
The trio of Morning from Peer Gynt, Oh, what a beautiful Morning and My Lord, what a Morning! made for an effectively rapturous start to the first half, and was followed by the reflective Summer in Winter and the more familiar fare of Kumbaya and Kyrie Eleison. After a rousing audience carol the half ended with All ye faithful Carols?, our accompanist Barrie Cooper's modern recomposition of a sequence of seven, perhaps over-familiar, carols which received a ringing endorsement from Rector Chris Collingwood.
The interval's free wine warmed the cockles on a cold night, ready for the muscular modern carol Torches, which was quickly followed by Elgar's beautiful The Snow. The ladies' number this time was a lovely a capella arrangement of Lit'le David play on your Harp but it's fair to day that it was eclipsed by the gentlemen's enthusiastically sung and over-acted rendition of the ridiculous Pirate's Christmas, complete with pirate hats, parrots and overflowing tankards! Barrie's sensitive playing of Albeniz's Cordoba restored the artistic standard and led on to a modern arrangement of The Holly and the Ivy and a second audience carol. To send everyone home in toe-tapping mood the final two numbers were Holiday Rock and Rise up, Shepherd and follow.
As always we look forward to giving away money we have raised to deserving local causes and this December the recipients of cheques for £1,000 each were Horsfall House, Minchinhampton, Hope for Tomorrow and Aphasia Now. For the first time tickets were also automatically entered into raffles each night for Christmas hampers, making two lucky members of the audience even happier on their journeys home.
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