Our Christmas Concert - By Douglas Williams

Friday 25th December, 2015 - 9:11am

THE cattle are lowing near the crib of the Infant King at the traditional pastoral Christmas scene. The famous lights are glowing around and in the picturesque Mousehole harbour to delight the thousands of visitors.

And in the ancient Paul parish church on the hill 76 voices of Mousehole male voice choir. supported by a capacity audience, are in full form for the popular yuletide carol concert with melodies old and new. It was rated their finest carol event for quality and variety, plus top entertainment value.

It was a jubilant occasion led by musical director Stephen Lawry, with Annette Turton pianist and accompanist and John Harry adding a triumphant note from the merry organ. Add the charm of guests Jenna and Morwenna Matthews, the twins in harmony who have raised thousands of pounds for charity with their delightful blend of singing, and there was as happy, nostalgic and Christian programme as could be wished.

The audience had full scope to raise the roof with their congregational  carols and in between came readings and stories - and humour- to complete the picture.

After the glamour of the harbourside switch-on and the village festivities of Tom Bawcocks Eve, together with the remembrance of the heroes of Penlee lifeboatmen who gave their lives in their historic bid to save those in peril on the sea, this concert was a dedication to the future as well as a celebration of the traditional spirit.

'Hark the Glad Sound' and 'O Little town of Bethlehem' were just two of the carols for all but they spelled out the joy and the reverence of the occasion that was supporting Prostate Cancer UK and the Pengarth Day Centre at Penzance with t heir fundraising.
It was a special evening in preparation for Christmas after a busy year.  The Christmas CD has proved very popular. There has been a hectic tour to the Peak District, the International Festival and concerts throughout Cornwall.

The choir was in fine fettle with such old favourites as the Maddern Williams arrangement of  'While Shepherds Watched' the settings by conductor Stephen as well as 'Mary's Boy-Child' arranged by Malcolm Sutton and Tom Waters, plus the classics of Thomas Merritt and Ninnis and the they added a fresh charm with 'Mary did you Know?'.  There was 'Hellesveor' and 'In the bleak Midwinter' together with 'And the Glory of the Lord' from Handel;so Messiah to complete the breadth of the generous selection.

Members of the choir taking me part were tenor soloist Colin Trevorrow and readers Paul Worth, Ian Davies, David Evans and the conductor.

Jenna and Morwenna, who also have CDs to their credit, were accompanied by mum and dad Kath and John and young children were invited from the audience to combine in singing 'Little Donkey'. There was a charming family atmosphere - with the audience ranging from babes to a 96 year-old fan. Some of the audience were from Surrey and the choir has members travelling regularly from Launceston, Newquay, Truro and Falmouth.

There was a final blessing by the Priest in charge, Revd Andrew Yates, thanks to all taking part were expressed by chairman Charles Law and presentations were made by hon secretary Tim James.

A full concert programme lies ahead in 2016 for the choir, now the largest male voice group in Cornwall and one of the biggest in England.

The shortest day has passed and, as the locals say "Six weeks after Christmas you can see to go to Chapel.".

*  Paul is currently the church where time stands still. Following damage to the clock ringing mechanism the hands of the large external church clock stays around Six.

Website designed & developed by Design UNLTD