Concert in the spirit of festive giving
A near capacity audience, including Chesham’s mayor Peter Hudson and his children, enjoyed Chess Valley Male Voice Choir’s Christmas Concert at Broadway Baptist Church in The Broadway on Saturday evening.
The choir’s selection of seasonal offerings were supplemented by ‘stunning’ performances from Christabel Milner and Jonah Halton, a reading of A Yorkshire Nativity by choir member John Poston, and lively audience participation in popular carols and the ‘Snow Waltz.’
Starting with a lively invitation for the those present to Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly, the 42 strong choir’s varied selection included the sensitive Do You Hear What I Hear, a calypso style The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy and, joined by wives and partners, also known as the Christmas Belles, reminding all It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.
Christabel Milner, who was awarded The Chess Male Voice Choir bursary for most promising young musician at last year’s Chesham Arts Festival, belied her age of 10 with confident performances – notably of Naughty from the musical Matilda.
Jonah Halton’s return to sing with the choir, confirmed the excellent memories of past performances with the choir.
Now on a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music, and in demand to sing in Europe and North America, he gave a strong and assured rendering of Comfort Ye’ and Every Valley Shall Be Exalted from the Messiah before moving on to some lighter, Sinatra styled, Christmas pieces.
Introducing the choir’s chosen charity Chiltern Music Therapy, musical director Sheila Cornall described the wide variety of its work using music to help the injured, physically and mentally disabled of all ages.
On behalf of the choir, Mr Hudson presented a cheque for £500 to the charity’s CEO Rosie Axon.
In accepting the cheque, Ms Axon emphasised how the organisation appreciated the choir’s donation and its importance in providing music and instruments for the charity.
She also expressed appreciation of choir members’ participation at one of the charity’s recent working sessions.
The evening ended with the choir’s rumbustious rendering of We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
The post-concert bucket collection for Chiltern Music Therapy raised more than £500 from the appreciative audience.
John Ramsbottom from the choir said: “The choir’s efforts in raising over £1,000 to help Chesham based Chiltern Music Therapy resonates well with the spirit of giving at Christmas.”
The choir’s next event is an open evening at St John’s Church in Ashley Green on Tuesday, January 19 starting at 7.45pm.
The event will have good and drink and is for friends of the choir and those who would like to experience singing in a choir.
Chesham’s mayor Peter Hudson presenting the CEO of Chiltern
Music Therapy Rosie Axon with £500