Saturday 4th January, 2020 - 4:18pm
Christmas is one of the choir’s busiest periods in their annual calendar. It is also perhaps one of the most rewarding as well as strenuous in the learning of new music in just a short period of time. Learning commences at the beginning of September even while we are singing the ‘normal’ repertoire. This culminates in concerts in Porthleven at the beginning of December, the Christmas lights switch on in the village, singing at one of the local supermarkets to help funds for their chosen charity, our own Christmas concert at Paul parish church as well as a concert in St Mary’s church with Penzance Ladies Orpheus choir. With the new year then on the horizon the whole cycle begins again.
This year our Christmas concert at Paul parish church on Friday 20th December sold out well in advance of the concert and was attended by nearly four hundred people which included the Lady Mayoress and her consort. This year’s chosen charities were the Samaritans and Cornwall Air Ambulance. We were also very fortunate to welcome, as our guests for the evening, Twin Harmony, Jenna and Morwenna Matthews.
With the lights giving out their brightness in the picturesque village of Mousehole the ancient church at Paul was full to capacity to hear nearly eighty voices sing carols from Cornwall and across the globe, ancient and modern supported by an audience which was in fine voice. One other addition this year was the recording of the concert by Martin Holland for the local radio station, Coast FM.
The story of Christmas was told in words, music and song with some beautiful singing, particularly Alan Simmons arrangement of “When A Child Is Born”, Craig Courtney’s arrangement of “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” and “Mary Did You Know” by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. Our talented musical director, Steve Lawry also arranged some of the carols, and notable was the arrangement of “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”, keeping alive an old Newlyn Tune. Christmas in West Cornwall would not be the same without the inclusion of Merritt carols and the first carol that everyone sang was a firm favourite, “Hark The Glad Sound!”
Interwoven with the choir was “Twin Harmony” who always receive a rousing reception and pleased the choir a lovely piece of music fro the film, Polar Express, “When ChristmasComes To Town and everyone’s favourite carol “O Holy Night”.
The following week, on Saturday 28th December, Mousehole sang with Penzance Orpheus Ladies Choir. The concert was held in St Mary’s Church in Penzance. We were also delighted to welcome the family of the choir’s secretary, Tim James, from Norway. Steven, his son, with his wife Asne, are members of the Stavanger symphony orchestra accompanied their talented sons, Fredrik who is thirteen and Oliver eleven when they played the French horn and violin respectively. For the audience and the members of both choirs this was a magical evening listening to these brilliant and gifted musicians. For those present it was an absolute joy to listen to them; the audience could have thought they were listening to professionals rather than youngsters and gave them a deserved standing ovation.
The concert was in aid of CHIN, Christian Helpline in Newlyn which is a charity established in 1985 by the anglican and methodist churches in Newlyn and Penzance. It is entirely run by volunteers and offers essential transport to hospitals and surgeries for those who are unable to get to their appointments otherwise.
The choirs were delighted to be singing together to share some Christmas joy to an audience of over a hundred and fifty and to support this worthwhile charity and raised over £800 for them. At the time of writing it is not clear how much funds were raised for the Air Ambulance and The Samaritans, but the choir would like to thank both audiences for their generous contributions at both concerts.
Thanks to Matt Bromage and Vanessa Lodey for the photographs.