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St Nicholas’ Day Celebrated by Pilgrim Singers Concert VIDEO

Tuesday 23 December 2014, 10:36
By John Baxter

With the pews filled and the lights dimmed low the Pilgrim Singers processed into the church carrying candles and heralded by soloist Rachel Holden, singing the Taize chant Wait for the Lord. It marked a memorable start to a beautiful concert. With a carefully thought out programme devised by conductor Jane Fenton and supported by accompanist Paul Hawkings, the evening consisted of mixed choral singing by the choir, with readings and solos.

Graham Stride gave a mesmerising account of everything we could want to know about the historical St. Nicholas and the many edifying stories which have grown up around his name and his reputation for generosity, so appropriate to this season.

Harriet Bultitude, who has just left school, sang Panis Angelicus by Cesar Frank and The Virgin’s Slumber Song by Max Reger with great expression. Christopher Fenton read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem The Christmas Truce, referring to the First World War. Roisin Kitts lightened the tone with an Irish Dance and the first half ended with the choir singing Keep the Home Fires Burning and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.

After a highly sociable interval when the mulled wine flowed and the Christmas fare disappeared, the concert continued with more fine singing, such as the Kerry Christmas Carol, sung by Sheila and Leah Kitts. It reached its climax when Camilla Foster-Mitchell, returning from London, gave an unforgettable performance of Handel’s I Know That My Redeemer Liveth from The Messiah before the whole choir sang the Halleluja Chorus to conclude the concert.

As many were heard to say, it was “a wonderful, uplifting evening”. The money raised from tickets and the raffle, after expenses, was £ 1,300 to be divided between our own Balsam Centre and a charity that gives help to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.

Pilgrim Singers enter

Pilgrim Singers

Pilgrim Singers

Camilla Foster-Mitchell singing Handel’s I Know That My Redeemer Liveth


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