Carol Singing - 19th December 2019
It was standing room only for the 26th time at the village’s annual ‘Carol Singing’, led by our own Kapellmeister, Mr Paul Whitmarsh. As has become tradition the concert started with 'Once in Royal David's City'. The first verse was sung solo by one of our very talented schoolchildren, Edward Millar, the second verse was sung by our volunteer choir and then the rest of the guests joined in for the final two verses.
Once the music had died away and those who had chairs were seated again, Paul explained that as in all the concerts over the intervening years the choir and 4 piece 'wind' orchestra were all volunteers and had only come together that evening, with no rehearsal beforehand. Thus there may be the odd pause whilst order papers were shuffled and the orchestra would need a break every now and then to catch their breath.
As is usual the singing programme was divided into several parts including audience participation. The first group to be brought forward were the children who sang 'Away in a Manger', led by a solo first verse performed beautifully by Scarlett Bennett, who reprised her role from last year.
After Scarlett had sung the first verse the children sang the next and then everyone joined in. It sounded something like this........
The men were tasked with singing 'We Three Kings' and split into three competing groups, one for each king. there was certainly much lusty singing, and some dispute as to the outcome but the Balthazar group were declared (mainly by having a ringer) to have won the competition.
The ladies had a more difficult task with the rather higher pitched 'Holly and the Ivy'. Paul decided to give a little tuition to assist the Ladies who proved to be quick learners and each group gave an excellent rendition, but in the end the 'Barks' were declared the winners.
Paul once more showed his versatility by accompanying the Caribbean version of 'Mary's Boy Child', on the bongos. Everyone got their pre Christmas exercise standing up and down with the various parts of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' and then we were into the final carols, finishing off with, naturally, 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'.
Paul thanked, the soloists, Rita who organised the choir, the choir themselves, the orchestra and also Peter Fife who compiled and printed off the carol sheets for us. Chairman of the Residents' Association, Dave Smith, then thanked the RA committee for organising the event, including decorating the hall, brewing the mulled wine and all the ladies of the village who had baked mince pies which were soon to be consumed. Last but certainly not least Dave thanked Paul for a brilliant 26th concert. There was then just one last announcement to make. The mulled wine and mince pies are provided for free by the Residents' Association but we do like to collect for a local charity. This year it was Camp Mohawk and thanks to the very generous nature of our audience we were able to hand over £260.