Saturday, 25 September 2021

Angelic voices to herald the arrival of Christmas

Angelic voices to herald the arrival of Christmas

CHRISTMAS will have well and truly arrived when the angelic voices of Henley Choral Society’s singers soar into the rafters of St Mary’s Church tomorrow (Saturday).

At least, that’s the hope of the society’s chair, Susan Edwards, who was speaking ahead of its family Christmas concert at 2pm and traditional Christmas concert at 7pm.

Musical director Peter Asprey — now embarking on his second Christmas with the choir — will be conducting the two-part celebration.

Also returning by popular demand, having played at both concerts last year, are Onyx Brass — described by BBC Music magazine as “easily the classiest brass-playing in Britain” — and Daniel Moult, who The Organ magazine has called “one of the finest organists of our time”.

A spokesman for the choral society said: “Oynx Brass will be bringing their own unique brand of skill and festive fun, accompanying the choirs as well as performing some uplifting pieces of their own.

“The renowned organist Daniel Moult will complete the Christmas package and provide a magnificent accompaniment as well as treating the audience to a solo performance.

“The evening concert will open with the atmospheric O Viridissima Virgo and feature two major classic English choral works — Finzi’s Magnificat and I Was Glad by Parry, which featured at the Royal Wedding in 2011 and is sure to provide a rousing end to the evening.

“The programme will be interspersed with audience carols, performances from the senior youth choir, and beautifully festive works including Gabrieli’s O Magnum Mysterium, the medieval sacred carol, Gaudete, and the wonderful O Holy Night.

“The 2pm afternoon performance, now in its third year, will feature both the junior and senior youth choirs, who will be joining Henley Choral Society for an interactive and entertaining programme especially for a younger audience.”

Susan Edwards added: “This is Peter Asprey’s second Christmas with the choral society and he has put together a beautifully festive and rousing programme.

“We are also delighted that following their popular appearance last year both Onyx Brass and organist Daniel Moult have found time in their busy Christmas schedules to perform with us at both concerts in Henley.

“Our afternoon concert especially for families is a real treat with the lovely sound of our youth choir voices singing their Christmas repertoire, supported by the Henley Choral Society.

“Our traditional evening concert is guaranteed to leave everyone with the feeling that Christmas has well and truly arrived.

“Choirs singing beautiful choral music plus opportunities to sing familiar carols combine to make two joyful concerts. Do come.”

• Tickets for tomorrow’s concerts are priced £12 to £15 or £5 for under-18s. To book, call ticket secretary Jan French on (01491) 572795, call in to Gorvett & Stone in Duke Street, or visit the choral society online at www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk

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