A very busy Christmas season for the Choir began on Saturday 3 December, with many members participating in our annual visit to Nether Alderley Church in support of their Christmas Fair. It is always a shared activity, with the Choir performing carols both ‘new’ and traditional, but ably assisted with the latter by a congregation that has grown in number over the years. This time, an aspect of ‘the new’, was the singing of the ‘solo’ first verse of Away in a Manger by three potential new members – William (8), Eloise (5) and Jasmine (4), children of two of our altos. Another ‘first’ was the warm welcome extended to us by Reverend Jon Hale, the new Rector, who was delighted to discover such a joyous gathering taking place in his church. Our warm thanks go to the members of the church who provide us with festive refreshments, as well as to Jenny Limond who conducts us and Stephen Reynolds our accompanist, without whom the event could not happen.
Our Christmas concert, on Sunday 11 December, attracted an exceptionally large audience to the United Reformed Church in Wilmslow to hear our programme of Christmas Music Through The Ages, a delightful musical journey encompassing items from as far back as the 15th century all the way through to the present day, and involving performances in Latin, German and Finnish as well as English. As always, there were plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in familiar carols, and a rousing rendition by both Choir and audience of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ brought the evening to a exhilarating conclusion. Many thanks to our organist Elin Rees for her important contribution.
Other outings for Choir members in the lead up to Christmas included a visit to Wilmslow U3A, where for the first time we were invited to sing at their Christmas party. Again conducted by Jenny Limond and accompanied by Stephen Reynolds, we performed a number of carols from our growing repertoire, interspersed with the over ninety members joining us in singing a variety of traditional carols as well as some old favourites, such as ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’. We were then asked for an encore… which led to a most welcome reward of tea and a variety of delicious Christmas cakes. Our thanks to all for the invitation and generous hospitality.
A few days later, on the afternoon of 14 December, we made a return visit to Oakmere residential home in Handforth to sing carols and Christmas music, accompanied by Doug Macdonald on keyboard. Once again, many residents turned out to hear us and join in with the singing before adjourning for refreshments and conversation. Our sincere thanks to staff and residents for their warm welcome.