The Chelmsford Singers celebrated Christmas at St Michael’s Galleywood with a vibrant feast of carols old and new, including arrangements by MD James Davy and long-time choir favourite Cecilia McDowall, whose A Winter’s Night brings new life to traditional carols in English, French, German, and Latin; the choir switched between languages with aplomb, enjoying the rhythmic intricacies and stylish effects of the work.
There were audience carols in number, with the sizeable crowd adding their voices lustily, especially in ‘While shepherds watched’, to the tune of ‘Ilkley Moor Baht ‘at’. Readings by choir members and organ solos by Chelmsford Cathedral Sub-Organist Sam Bristow gave extra interest, with Sam’s adept accompaniment a particular highlight on his first outing with the Singers.
Our conductor brought his usual repartee to proceedings, as well as some enjoyable arrangements of The First Nowell and O come all ye faithful.
As always there was something for everyone and it was good to see a large audience visibly enjoying the hard work that the choir put in, with a fresh and flexible sound and a real relish for the music.