This year’s Christmas concert opened with an uplifting rendition of Leroy Anderson’s classic Sleigh Ride performed by the full College orchestra, setting the mood for a most festive and enjoyable last night of term.
There was something for everyone, including a choral offering from the Chamber Choir singing The Twelve Days of Christmas (with kazoos!), a warming 25th December performed by the Brass Ensemble, heavenly harmonies from Alex Holley, Sophie Sharpe-Neal and Molly Woolfson in Winter Wonderland, and a gentler number from the Cello Group, performing the magical arrangement of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
The concert showcased some of the many talents within the Music department, including highlights from both instrumental and vocal soloists. James Drinkwater’s jazzy arrangement of a classic Christmas hymn, entitled rather inventively God Rest Ye Jazzy Gents, featured Valentin Kasparov on the trombone and Emma Shaw playing the clarinet with great style and musicianship.
Later on in the programme, we were treated to the Soul Band, who accompanied the soulful Irene Horsfall with singers Alex Holley, Flora Parkinson and Sophie Sharpe-Neal in All I Want for Christmas is You, followed by the playful duet of Baby it’s Cold Outside sung by the talented Ally Cheung and Bradley Fletcher.
Henry Metcalfe blew the cobwebs away with an impressive organ improvisation on well-known Christmas tunes such as Silent Night, The Twelve Days of Christmas and Last Christmas. His efforts were even more remarkable as he took inspiration from the audience with very little time to prepare.
There wasn’t an empty pew in the chapel, testament to the wonderful support offered by parents and fellow students and the high regard in which College music is held. It also gave the evening an extra something when it came to congregational numbers - both While Shepherds Watched and the rather silly Frosty the Snowman were sung with gusto! Well done to all those involved.