Sussex Chorus Family Christmas Concert, Burgess Hill, December 7
The King’s Church in Burgess Hill provided a bright and festive setting for Sussex Chorus telling the story of Christmas through the eyes of young Stanley, written and narrated by Rosie Fox, providing the link between the musical items.
The concert began with a trumpet duet played by Nick and Jamie Andrews. Jamie, aged 11, played with confidence and musicality.
Sussex Chorus sang three well loved carols, a capella, with energy, good intonation and dynamic range. The good acoustics benefited the choir’s crisp lyrics and well defined phrasing under the clear direction of conductor, Neil Jenkins.
The West-Eacott School of Music Girls’ Choir sang the verses to ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, Sussex Chorus joining in the choruses; the Girl’s Choir adding clarity and purity of young voices through out to the soprano line. Oathall Community College Choir under their director, Carol Mac Taggart, performed ‘Little Donkey’ and ‘Rocking’ with sensitivity, and a beautifully clear solo from Kaytlin Smith. Lucy Heathcote sang the ‘Cat and Mouse’ carol and led the choir in the solo for ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. Children from the audience joined in ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Away in a Manger’; then heard the story of the origin of Franz Gruber’s ‘Silent Night’.
The Three Penny Piece performed a close harmony medley of Christmas classics, which included ‘Winter Wonderland’, the lively big band swing arrangements putting the audience in a jolly mood.
The children played percussion instruments and sleigh bells to the choirs singing ‘Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer’ welcoming Father Christmas, who gave out presents.
The Christmas festivities were rounded off with ‘I Saw Three Ships’, involving all the performers and audience. The finale, ‘O Holy Night’ led by the Three Penny Piece, produced a full sound with trumpets, the children’s choirs, soloists and Sussex Chorus in fine voice. The concert was supported by John Walker on keyboard.
Review by Sharon Harris