On the evening of Saturday 30th November, St. Peter’s Church was transformed by the light of over 150 candles and the lovely tones of the Ashbourne Singers led by Musical Director, Linda Perry Smith. We were taken on a journey from Advent through to Christmas, but were also treated to a wonderful arrangement of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen. The choir tackled difficult pieces from the ‘Ceremony of Carols’ by Benjamin Britten, as well as leading the audience in traditional carols like ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Angels from the Realms of Glory’ (very apt with the backdrop of the Angels banners). The audience even joined in to sing the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, probably a first for St. Peter’s, but it very much set the scene for a beautiful 2nd half. Both the ‘Shepherd’s Farewell’ by Berlioz and a clever arrangement of ‘The First Noel and Pachabel’s Canon’ by Michael Clawson, demonstrated in particular the superb harmonies that the Choir can produce. We were fortunate to be able to hear both the piano and the organ accompanying the performances, played admirably by Steven Duckworth and Michael Halls respectively. And close to the end of the Concert, the audience was transfixed by the absolutely beautiful soprano voice of Linda Perry Smith, with accompanying choir, singing ‘O Holy Night’. Wine, coffee, mince pies and stollen in the interval, all helped to make the evening a great event which got us very much in the mood for Christmas. Thank you to everyone who helped in the organisation of this Concert, and in particular to the Ashbourne Singers.
Review by Cathy Reavy