One of the things that makes Christmas different from other times of the year, writes Cameron Slater, is its music. It’s got everything from the battle for the number one slot in the charts (will Gareth Malone’s choir do it again this year?) to Slade’s evergreen Merry Christmas Everybody to JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.
Here at Stratford Choral Society, though, we’re not aiming to compete in the charts with a choral version of Jingle Bells, but we are putting together a fabulous programme of Christmas music, carols and readings called Prelude to Christmas conducted by our Music Director, Stephen Dodsworth and accompanied by organist, Benedict Wilson.
This will have lots of familiar (and not so familiar) Christmas music such as Coventry Carol, Sussex Carol, I Saw Three Ships, Here We Come A-wassailing, The Twelve Days of Christmas and many more. And you, too, can sing along with the choir in some favourite carols including Good King Wenceslas, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Once in Royal David’s City and O Come All Ye Faithful.
Oh, and we’ve got another treat for you. Doing the readings will be local writer and actor, Mark Carey. Mark’s career has covered TV, radio and the stage — you’ll have seen him on screen in Casualty and Morse, on stage in Educating Rita and The Tempest, and heard him on Radio 4 dramas and The Archers. Mark has built up a very successful parallel career as a writer with his one man show, Into the Breach and Magic Moments, a community play, set in the 1950’s, about the Cotswold village where he now lives with his wife, Cecilia, who is also one of the sopranos in the Stratford Choral Society.
We’ll be performing our Prelude to Christmas on Saturday, 17th December, at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. To join us, all you have to do is buy a ticket (priced £12 and £6 for students) from Stratford ArtsHouse, call the box office on 01789 207101, from Holy Trinity Bookshop, call Wendy Lewis Edwards on 01608 682049 or at the door on the night.
So here it is. Merry Christmas!