Songs for Christmas – St Stephens Church and Community choirs, at St Stephens Church, Inverness on the 21st of December, 2016. Review.

A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year, For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.’  From: The Journey Of The Magi by T S Eliot.

Whilst not Magi, nor attending the original event, there was a sublime magic to the performance of Carols and other Christmas music at St Stephen Church Inverness.  The Church and Community choirs of St Stephens combined with two young soloists from Inverness Royal Academy performed in aid of two local charities – Road to Recovery and Children First.  There are to be two concerts in the series – one on the 21st (Road to Recovery) and 23rd (Children First)

A range of works were performed during the evening.  The concert was segmented in form with sections of three songs by the choirs themselves, punctuated by the audience and choirs participating in some traditional community carolling.  Contemporary works were included such as Hallelujah – a very fitting salute to the late Leonard Cohen.  The middle section of the concert provided a showcase for the Church Choir themselves who performed: Antiphonal Noel, Angels through the night and Gloria.  Then came the turn of two local school pupils Heather MacRitchie on vocals and Sandy Scott-Brown playing the cello – both excellent.

Mr Ian Polworth from Road to Recovery gave a summary of the work of the charity which works with and supports local drug and alcohol abusers.  If you are replacing furniture please consider Road to Recovery as a destination for your unwanted fittings as these could be of great use to the charity.

The concert ended with a very rousing rendition of Rockin’ around the Christmas tree and a stunning rendition of O holy night.  St Stephens has a roof peppered with LED lights and for the finale the main lights were switched off leaving the church illuminated by some subtle backlighting, the roof lights and the choir holding candles.  With the eye of faith you could be out in the fields of the historic Middle East hearing angels singing.

Local choirs such as St Stephens are to be congratulated for making the effort to get out and sing for fun. They deserve high praise, as do their pianist/organist and conductor.

The lighting and sound for the performance were very tastefully done.

Thanks to St Stephens for hosting and assisting.

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