RMACB

Southampton and Shanklin back to back Christmas Concerts

Lancaster_House_June_2012The Christmas weekend: By Derek Willams (3rd Clarinet Desk)

Saturday’s Southampton Choral Society’s Christmas Concert at the Central Hall was a big event. We last worked together for the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic in April 2012. A worldwide televised event from Dock 4 at Southampton.

The band were positioned on a high stage behind the sixty strong choir who were placed down in the auditorium with the audience all around like a gladiator’s arena! David Woodford, (the Choir conductor), was so far away, that the band’s musical director David Cole had to copy conduct the choral pieces to relay up to the band!

The concert was very well attended by an enthusiastic audience of around six hundred strong who just lapped up every word sung and note played. They were truly appreciative of the glorious Christmas programme of music. The mixture of wonderfully arranged Carols and Christmas popular music was just the right blend to keep the audience enthralled and joining in with every opportunity to sing a long!

PROGRAMME OF MUSIC SOUTHAMPTON

Band Christmas Melodies Woodfield
Audience Carol O Little Town of Bethlehem
Choir Mary Had a Baby De Virgin Mary This is the Truth
Band & Choir Sussex Carol (On Christmas Night) Stille Nacht
Band Christmas Joy Leidzen 100% Christmas Johnson
Audience Carol Good King Wenceslas
Band Sleigh Ride Anderson Past Three O’Clock We Three Kings arr Barker
Audience Carol Hark! The Herald-Angels Sing

Interval

Audience Carol The First Nowell

Choir Hodie Christus Natus

All my Heart

Band The Kingdom Triumphant Eric Ball

Audience Carol Angels from the Realms

Choir Shepherd’s Farewell

Band Through the Eyes of Love Hamlisch/Bayer Sager

From Ice Castles

Soloist: Jon Yates

In Excelsis Deo arr Cole

Audience Carol O Come All Ye Faithful

It was hard to top the Southampton concert but I have to say that from my personal point of view, Shanklin was one of the best gigs of the year.

Once again the programme of music was brilliant containing rich arrangements of spectacular Christmas music which blended beautifully with some wonderful local touches from the (1) “Medina Community Choir”, (2) The fantastic “Resonate.” A group of young singers aged between 13-18 yrs who earier in the year had won the coveted BBC Comic Relief Glee club award for best singing group. (3) Soloist and Medina choir leader “Hannah Brear” and of course, (4) we also had the RM Corps of Drums from HMS Collingwood to add some spectacle to the proceedings.

Shanklin Theatre, built in 1879, was warm, clean, charming and quaint, run by a tour de force of enthusiastic volunteers who just could not do enough for us. We were treated and seated to a rich and abundant hot feast of a dinner, including minced pies and drinks etc;. In the interval, we were thoughtfully served with chilled bottles of drink en route to our changing rooms. The hospitality of the Theatre staff was incredible and they looked after the band like no other venue. (Other theatres should take note!) They were a true credit to the theatre and a shining example of the island’s hospitality. Thank you them all!

Hannah, the Choirs’ Director of Music, sang a beautiful rendering of “O Holy night” with the band, in a beautiful arrangement by David Cole once again to ensure her performance was truly inspiring. To read a little about her amazing professional background, see http://www.medinacommunitychoir.org.uk/wordpress/about-the-choir/musical-director/,

To add some real contrast and colour, the choir sang three unaccompanied carols beautifully. Then came the young group “Resonate” who delighted with their rendering of the Carol of the Bells (Ukranian Carol) and other songs. Truly impressive. Take a look here:- http://resonateglee.com/.

The band’s performance of the Christmas music was spectacular. The music filled the theatre with a glow of warmth and thrills. The arrangements were superb showing the artistry of the musicians off in the quiet and moving parts and blazing glory all around the theatre in the triumphant uplifting parts. The finale with the corps of drums proved “the icing on the cake.” – What a band to belong to!

Derek Williams (3rd Clarinet – and proud to be one of the important “cogs in the wheel”as it were!)

PROGRAMME OF MUSIC – IOW

Band Chimes of Liberty Goldman

Ceremonial Drum Beatings by the

Corps of Drums, HM Royal Marines

Semper Fidelis Sousa

Christmas Melodies Woodfield

Audience Carol Once in Royal David’s City

Choir Merry Christmas Darling

De Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy

Band Christmas Fantasy Langford

Audience Carol Ding Dong Merrily

Resonate God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

This Year’s Love

Audience Carol Good King Wenceslas

Band Sleigh Ride Anderson

Past Three O’Clock

We Three Kings arr Barker

INTERVAL

Audience Carol O Little Town of Bethlehem

Band & Choir O Holy Night Adam arr Cole

Band The Kingdom Triumphant Eric Ball

Audience Carol Hark the Herald Angels

Resonate I Dreamed a Dream

Run

Band Through the Eyes of Love Hamlisch/Bayer Sager

From Ice Castles

Soloist: Jon Yates

In Excelsis Deo arr Cole

Away in Manger

Sunset

Highland Cathedral

Regimental March

Audience Carol O Come All Ye Faithful

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