FIRST ATTENDANCE AT AN INVERNESS INSTITUTION – THE HIGHLAND HOSPITALS’ CAROL CONCERT The afternoon of Sunday 2nd December saw the 43rd carol performance by the Highland Hospitals’ Choir. The recital took place in the Drummosie Hotel and was attended by a packed audience of all ages. This event has taken place since 1975 and aims to raise funds for the work of CLIC Sargent who provide care and support for young cancer sufferers and their families. Since its inception, the annual concert has realised over £230,000 for this charitable work. The choir itself was composed of around about 70 folk – 20 males and 50 females. This resulted in a good rounded sound. The performance was split into two parts with an interval between. In each section local tenor James Twigg sang a solo selection of three songs. The production was very much locally based with all the accompanying musicians and conductor hailing from the area around. Mr John Crombie proved to be an able and amiable conductor and all of the singers were obviously having a good time under his tutelage. The performance was a very traditional one with all of the usual classics included. Once in Royal David’s City, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O come all ye faithful, sat between more modern songs such as It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Most songs were performed by the choir, but there were sections of audience participation as well. On the theme of participation, this is the first year that the event was held at the Drummosie. Usually the venue is Eden Court but this year due to logistical problems, another location had to be sought. The Hotel thus stepped into help. Furthermore on the programme it was interesting to see that each item sung was sponsored by a different local business or organisation. The community feel extended to the concert programme – the cover for this was very attractively designed by two pupils – Harris and Else of Abernethy Primary School in Nethy Bridge. Lighting and sound were tastefully provided by local sound specialists Limelights. A very good concert – and it was interesting to be able to take part in one of the cultural institutions of the local music scene. Thanks to the venue for hosting the reviewer.