Christopher Cromar, the musical director of Congleton Choral Society, ensured that the audience were treated to a memorable Christmas concert in Congleton
Town Hall on 20th December 2014. The programme drew on many rich traditions of choral music and was ably accompanied on the piano and organ by
Andrew Green. The high standard was reflected in comments from the audience. One person commented 'a lovely concert with a fabulous sound'; another said
'the concert was truly beautiful and I am still dancing on air'.
The evening began with the lively Sir Christemas by William Mathias. This was followed by the warm harmonies of the Nativity Carol by
John Rutter. Next the audience was entranced by the Congleton Children's Choir who sang an unusual item called Bless the Lord: Badgers and Hedgehogs by Andrew Carter. Then the children joined the adult choir for two carols: Infant holy, a
traditional Polish carol arranged by David Willcocks, and Star Carol, another of John Rutter's compositions. When listening to the young people,
it was hard to believe that it was only a year since their first performance. The final item before the interval was a rare performance of John Rutter's
magical fable entitled Brother Heinrich's Christmas with Douglas Parker, as the narrator.
The second part of the concert began with moving performances by the adult choir of Torches by John Joubert and of O Magnum Mysterium by
Morten Lauridsen. Then the audience was delighted to hear works by two local musicians. There was a new tune for Away in a manger composed by
Andrew Green, who accompanies the Choral Society, the Children's Choir and the Choral Academy. This was followed by a carol calledJesus, Born in Bethlehem composed by Nick Green who sings with the bass section. The audience also enjoyed listening to Ding dong merrily on high, a 16th century French melody harmonised by Charles Wood, In the bleak mid-winter by Harold Darke
and the Sussex carol, an English carol arranged by David Willcocks. It was good that everyone was encouraged to join in singing God rest ye merry gentlemen, The first nowell, O come all ye faithful and Hark the herald angels sing.
'The choir gets better and better every year' commented one member of the audience. The society welcomes new members, particularly tenors and basses so it
was pleasing to find a gentlemen in the audience who was keen to join the Monday evening rehearsals. There is also a Children's Choir, a Choral Academy and
a Choir for Hire.
The Choral Society's next concert will take place on Saturday 21st March 2015 when the choir will perform Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn.
Later in the year on Saturday 18th July, the programme will be Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, On Angel's Wing by Cecilia
McDowall and Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo by Horowitz and Flanders.