Christmas Eve Charity Concert 2014, Ardingly Choral Society, Ardingly College Chapel
When the opening carol, O Come all ye Faithful, resounded through Ardingly College’s magnificent chapel it was evident that the annual Christmas Eve Concert by the Ardingly Choral Society would make up in a most heartfelt way for the cancellation in 2013 caused by a power failure.
The weather too was kinder this time and the augmented choir and a large audience in good voice ensured a most joyful occasion.
The main choral offering was Haydn’s upbeat, heartwarming Nelson Mass, ably supported by a small orchestra led by Martin Palmer and the organist Richard Toms. These players and the singers, all conducted by Robert Hammersley, performed with exemplary vigour.
Many of the outstanding soloists were former members of the College – parents, teachers and pupils. The Haydn was interspersed with traditional carols, including O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing with full audience participation, while the choir performed Joy to the World, In the Bleak Midwinter and Deck the Hall.
The most ambitious participative item was John Gardner’s modern version of The Holly and the Ivy. His round was gradually split up into eight parts, leading to a suitably rumbustious finale! Fittingly, this community event raised a substantial sum from a retiring collection for the St Peter and St James Hospice – a wonderful way to enter into the Christmas spirit.
Contributed by a Friend of Ardingly Choral Society