CAROLS FOR CHRISTMAS 12 Dec 2017, St Simon & St Jude, Rainworth.
OR "POACHING IN RAINWORTH!"
The Sinfonia Chorale Christmas vocal offering could be likened to a festive box of assorted chocolates! The combination of traditional carols, together with the additional spice of less familiar pieces, and unexpected choices resulted in a delightful selection of sound bites. There was spoken word, in the dramatisation of readings, audience participation in familiar carols, plus a sparkling solo performance. The snowy, crisp evening of Tuesday 12th December, only slightly impacted on audience numbers, as the church was virtually full to capacity. About 100 people attended and were appreciative of the choir's efforts! By the way, the significance of the subtitle will be revealed at the end of this review!
The opening piece was a traditional, unaccompanied ditty, Christmas is coming. It mentions fattening the geese and the notion of giving to those less fortunate, in the lyric ‘please to put a penny in the old man’s hat! If you haven’t got a penny, ha’penny’ll do, if you haven’t got a ha’penny a farthing’ll do, if you haven’t got a farthing, God bless you!’ The contemporary hat was passed around in the interval, as it were, and the raffle ticket sales plus a retiring collection raised £572.83 for Framework Homeless Charity.
Teresa, Marcus, Angela and Amanda read diverse pieces which engaged and entertained. There were chuckles and murmurs from the audience, indicating a connection with the spoken themes. These were interspersed in the programme. The more unusual pieces in the musical assortment included William Walton’s, All This Time This Song is Best, Verbum Caro Factum Est (The word was made flesh). To remember Catalan choir friends, Richard included a Catalan folk piece, (El noi de la mare) which spoke of gifts of local produce to give to the Baby Jesus. A jazz/close harmony setting of Follow That Star was placed with White Christmas, where, unsually, the melody was distributed among all four parts. To conclude the carol service, Leighton’s Coventry Carol was placed with a stirring spiritual, Mary Had a Baby. Claire Devine sang the soprano solo in the Leighton composition beautifully. Finally, the choir performed the jazzy Have Yourself a merry Little Christmas as an encore.
At the end of the service, gifts were given to Liz Pike for accompanying the choir and all her hard work with the music library and to Richard Roddis to thank him for all his work over the year.
When leaving the church at the end of the evening, I spoke to a member of the audience, who said how much she’d enjoyed the singing and that she’d like to poach some of the Chorale’s men! I was puzzled! She explained that it was so great to hear four part harmony, that she’d like to poach some of our tenors and basses to join her choir! A compliment indeed!