Saturday, 13 August 2022

Christmas concerts come but twice a day

HENLEY Choral Society has announced that due to popular demand it will be staging not one

HENLEY Choral Society has announced that due to popular demand it will be staging not one but two Christmas concerts at St Mary’s Church.

The date for both concerts is Saturday, December 12 — with the first taking place at 2.30pm and the second at 7.30pm.

Susan Edwards, who chairs the society, said: “In recent years our Christmas concert has proved so popular that we’ve sold out within weeks of releasing tickets, leaving many Henley residents disappointed.

“We will still hold our traditional 7.30pm evening concert but excitingly for this year there will be an additional 2.30pm afternoon concert for families — where Henley Choral Society will be joined by Henley Youth Choir for lots of festive fun.”

The youth choir was established a year ago, and as well as performing in last year’s Christmas concert has performed independently at the Henley Youth Festival and at the family day at the Barn Bar during Henley Royal Regatta.

The 2.30pm afternoon concert provides an opportunity for families to join in with both choirs together for an interactive and entertaining programme — especially for a younger audience with their families.

The evening concert audience will also have the chance to hear and sing along to well known Christmas carols with Henley Choral Society, led by their acclaimed conductor Benjamin Goodson.

One highlight of the evening is sure to be Vaughan Williams’s

Fantasia on Christmas Carols
featuring the hugely accomplished baritone Henry Neill.

First performed in 1912, this tapestry of English folk carols is an atmospheric piece contrasting complex melodies with simple folk tunes to glorious effect.

Both concerts will be accompanied for the second year running by Richard Pinel, assistant director of music of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and one of the UK’s foremost organists.

Susan Edwards added: “Do come and join us on Saturday, December 12 — either for a fun festive afternoon or our splendid traditional Christmas evening concert.

“Given the level of interest we’ve had so far I’m sure both concerts will be hugely popular, so I would still recommend buying your tickets as early as possible.”

Tickets for both concerts are priced £12 to £15. Under-18s are £5. They can be booked in person at Gorvett & Stone in Duke Street — or by calling ticket secretary Jan French on (01491) 572795.

• Looking ahead to the new year, the choral society is inviting all singers from Henley and the surrounding areas to take part in a one-day workshop of Elgar’s

The Dream of Gerontius

The work is to be performed at the Concert Hall, Reading, on Saturday, March 5 — but prior to that the workshop will be held at Henley’s Holy Trinity Church from 10.30am on Saturday, January 23.

An early bird offer is currently in place for tickets to the workshop, which is open to singers aged 16 and up and is free for under-25s.

Tickets are priced £15 until Tuesday, December 8, and £20 after that date or on the door. Score hire is also available.

For further details or to book, call Jenny Fleming on (01491) 575165, email, or visit for full details and an online registration form.

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