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Fitting Fantasia start to the Christmas celebrations

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 06, 2012

celebrations: The Big Noise Chorus

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CHRISTMAS Fantasia is how the South Devon Choir describes its next concert, which will be a fitting start to festive celebrations around the Bay.

Carols are very much at the heart of the programme at Central Church, Torquay, on Saturday, though the composers represented have all given their individual twists to the carols and as each piece progresses the audience can have fun recognising familiar words and tunes.

There will be a slightly earlier than usual start time of 7pm.

The concert will start with Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols, which has a very medieval feel to it, with carols such as Welcome Yule, and There is no Rose.

Geoffrey Bush's easy listening Christmas Cantata incorporates the centuries old Little Jesus Sweetly Sleeping and This Endris Night, as well as the enigmatic I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In.

Gordon Jacob's cantata The New-Born King comes in 12 short movements with texts from many sources including Shakespeare and the Bible.

The choir will end with Vaughan Williams's very popular Fantasia on Christmas Carols, which somehow manages to encompass both the age old Christmas message (This is the Truth Sent from Above) as well as other English folk carols such as the evergreen On Christmas Night all Christians Sing, along with a hint of The First Nowell.

Conductor John Hobbs will have soprano Tina Gladwin and baritone Nicholas Merryweather as soloists for this feast of Christmas music, along with Christopher Sears at the organ and piano.

Tickets are available from Visitor Information Centres in Torquay and Newton Abbot, and from the choir on 01803 851726.

THE Big Noise Chorus will be performing at the Cockington Court Christmas celebrations at 2.30pm on Sunday.

The performance will give the group a chance to warm their tonsils ahead of their Christmas Concert at St Matthias Church, Wellswood, Torquay on December 15.

That event will be in aid of Rowcroft Hospice, and a wide variety of music both seasonal and otherwise is promised.

SHALDON Singers have their Christmas Concert on Saturday at 7pm at St Peter's Church in the village.

They will be under the direction of musical director Bob Carter, with Aubrey Maybin providing piano and organ accompaniment.

The popular Vivaldi Gloria is the main work in the first half of the programme, with soloists Jenny Abbot and Alison Burnett, while Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols features after the interval.

A selection of carols for choir and audience, and seasonal readings, complete the programme. There will be a retiring collection in aid of Shaldon Pre-School.

THE Harcombe Singers, with music director Nicola Smith, present their Christmas Pot Pourri at Chudleigh Parish Church on Saturday from 7.30pm.

The programme will include traditional carols and seasonal music by Bach.

For tickets call at Chudleigh DIY or Simply Flowers in Bovey Tracey.

THE Alvington Singers begin three concerts of Christmas Music on Wednesday at Salcombe Church at 7.30pm. This will be a charity concert in aid of the cancer and leukaemia charity CLIC Sargent.

THE classic Christmas Music Box will be presented by Clive Jenkins, the celebrated composer and pianist, with the support of the baritone Mark Boocock, in the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery today at 1pm.

The concert is in aid of the work of the Plymouth Music Accord.

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