Singing for Joy

19th December 2017

Sandra Grey reports

Monday 18th December at 7.30pm, St Mary the Virgin Church in Hemsby hosted the annual Christmas concert performed by the St Mary singers.  Photo: Sandra Grey

The sell-out event was attended by Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, together with an audience of over 200, many of whom had travelled significant distances to hear the beautiful voices and harmonies of this church based choir

 Now in its 3rd year, the concert began as a one off event to raise funds for the church.  It was so popular that the choir was asked to repeat the event the following year.  And when tickets sold out within days of going on sale, a second date was added. This year the concert is expected to raise in excess of £2000.00 which will contribute towards the cost of new heating in the choir stalls at the church

The audience was treated to a 2 hour extravaganza of Christmas music from choral classics and contemporary covers, spiritual and secular. From the Latin lyrics of Gaudette, to the superb harmonies of Stille Nacht, of course sung in German.  Traditional carols contrasted to Wham’s Last Christmas, whilst reflective and haunting solos were followed by vibrant and joyous audience participation!  There really was something for everyone and with homemade mince pies and mulled wine served by the choir during the interval, who could possibly ask for more

After the event the Rt Rev James thanked the choir for this event and for their continuing interest and support and fundraising on this church’s behalf. He also offered individual thanks to director and conductor, Donna Carter, for her inspirational leadership of the choir

Copies of the St Mary’s singers 2nd Christmas CD were on sale at the end of the performance.  The album was recorded live at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hemsby and was paid for by members of the choir, who are all amateur singers, many of whom do not read music

Donna Carter told me after the event, “The members of the choir sing for the love of singing.  They are hugely committed and passionate about what they do”.  And it has to be said; their passion is almost audible!

Who knows, next year perhaps three sell-out dates are called for!


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