A fine and full festive evening

By Rob George Friday 14 December 2012 Updated: 14/12 12:13

Bromsgrove Operatic Society – Christmas Concert

Catshill Methodist Church

MEMBERS of Bromsgrove Operatic Society were in fine voice to deliver a Christmas Concert to get everyone in the festive mood.

Under the leadership of musical director Laurence Nicholas, the group warmed up a cold December evening with a rousing rendition of Vivaldi’s Gloria in D to get the evening off to a fine start.

An inspired programme then saw the choir tackle the Andy Williams hit ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ before

singing their hearts out to Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’.

Nicholas dreamt up his own arrangement for both classic Christmas tunes and his bravery was rewarded with wonderful harmonies from his choir.

Heavenly sounds were packed around an inspiring solo from flautist Jenny Stubbings and one of the highlights of the evening, a performance of hand bell ringing by the Nicholas family.

Laurence invited his wife and four children on stage to perform some classic Christmas carols such as Silent Night and Little Donkey and the performance really brought home how special Christmas is for families.

Heart-warming tunes such as Away in a Manger, Ode to Joy and O Little Town of Bethlehem completed a delightful first half which also included Nicholas’s own arrangement of Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas and Barry Manilow’s Because it’s Christmas.

With such a Christmas theme on show it was fitting that the second half featured music from tinsel-town itself with two numbers from the festive movie Polar Express.

Further solos from the Nicholas family and Jenny Stubbings followed before a stunning conclusion with carols Hark the Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful followed by Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe and Wine and Saviour’s Day.

Zadok the Priest brought the curtain down on a wonderful evening of song which was warmly kept moving by the excellent and amusing compere Ian G Cox.

Three versions of Away in a Manger during a packed programme did seem a tad excessive but that should not detract from a feel good concert which was wonderfully crafted, sang and performed and the perfect way to celebrate Christmas.

Rob George

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