Saturday, 19 June 2021

Ferryboat annual concert full to capacity

ST MARY’S church in Whitchurch was full to capacity for the fifth annual Christmas concert by the Ferryboat pub's brass band.

The event, which also featured soloists from the village and a 40-strong choir of pupils from Whitchurch Primary School, raised almost £3,000 for the church, the primary school and Whitchurch Pre-School.

The band, which was assembled by the Ferryboat's landlord Graham Dednum shortly after he took charge of the High Street hostelry in 2012, played Sounds Like Christmas, Rise Up Shepherd And Follow, Go Tell It On The Mountain and Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree.

Flautist Clare Donahue played Ding Dong Merrily On High and O Holy Night, cornet player Steve Clapton played The Huron Carol and vocal soloist Debbie Jenkins sang When A Child Is Born and Rutter's Candlelight Carol while the school choir, conducted by teacher Lucy Lombos, performed Do You Hear What I Hear?

Visitors also sang along to Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Calypso Carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Deck The Halls and other festive classics.

Rev Claire Alcock, of the Langtree team ministry, gave a talk on "Christmas thoughts" and thanked organisers for staging the event.

Mr Dednum, who was previously organiser of the Salvation Army's carol concerts at the Hexagon in Reading, said: "It was a very successful evening. We were only £200 short of £3,000 but should exceed that with further collections by the end of the month.

"I floated the idea with the church when I moved to the area and it's just grown and grown ever since. People love it and the parents and grandparents are always really proud to see their children singing with the choir.

"The pupils always put in a marvellous performance and the band very kindly give their time for free so it's a real community effort."

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