Village of Haddenham

Witchert Chorale Xmas Concert

Home » News » Witchert Chorale Xmas Concert
Xmas Concert 17
Xmas Concert 09
Xmas Concert 05
Xmas Concert 04
Xmas Concert 2018

Followers of the Witchert Chorale have come to expect an evening of first class music with a mix of well-loved and recondite numbers delivered with the group's trade-mark humour and sparkle. Saturday's Christmas concert in St Mary's was no exception.

It was to be an evening of Handel and his contemporaries, than which, with this group in that setting, a more delightful prospect could hardly be imagined. The added bit of fun this year was the arresting theme: 'When Handel came to Haddenham...'. This was a story, written and told by Ed Cairns, spun out between musical numbers and thoroughly engaging if only for the bits of eighteenth century local history worked in.

The canard should have been spotted by historians (but not this one) from the dates in 1752, which never existed, any more than Handel's visit, having been eliminated when Britain belatedly joined the rest of Europe in adopting the Gregorian calendar.

But, as Ed observed, we were there for the music.

To listen to the eighteenth century harmonies from this well-blended, spirited but disciplined choir, wonderfully accompanied by the 4-member Witchert Ensemble, was as uplifting as ever and would have soothed the most troubled soul.

The programme included some pieces intended for very large choirs, such as the Coronation Anthems and the splendid Worthy is the Lamb from the Messiah, and it was remarkable how these numbers took new life from this small group, of 18, singing with such intimacy and pin-sharp accuracy.

While Handel dominated the programme, there was an outstanding piece from an older composer, Henry Purcell. The crescendo at the end of his Hear my Prayer, for its sheer beauty of sound and in the setting of St Mary's, will for many have been the emotional high point of the evening.

After the singing there were heartfelt farewells to Alison Court, who, with director David Quinn, founded the Witchert Chorale in 2004 and who (with Ed's constant support) has always been the chief animator of the group and author of its distinct personality. The batten passes to Ann Millar, organiser of this year's concert (a triumph).

Proceeds from the concert, very well attended as usual, will go to the Haddenham Village Society and to Friends of St Mary's.

Click on any of the images featured on this page to view an enlarged version. There are more photos to enjoy in the GALLERIES section of this website.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Messiah Workshop 2020
Haddenham Webteam: Tue 21 Jan 11:45am

As part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Thame Choral Society will be performing Handel's Messiah in April.Ahead of this performance, the choir will be throwing open its doors to singers of all ages and abilities with one of its popular singing workshops. The event will be held on Saturday 8th February at Haddenham Infant School, Woodways, HP17 8DS. Lead by Musical Director, Helen...

Sue Toner 01
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 15 Jan 3:45pm

From Tuesday 4th February the Haddenham Community Library will be opening 30 minutes later on a weekday morning.On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the new opening time will be 9.30am. The slightly later opening time is to encourage people with young school children who are interested in volunteering in the library to be able to do so. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact...

Chiltern House 03
Haddenham Webteam: Mon 13 Jan 6:45pm

The owner of Chiltern House, a commercial property located on Thame Road close to several other small commercial premises on the Thame side of Browns, has lodged an appeal challenging the AVDC decision to refuse re-development of the building as residential accommodation. An informal hearing will be held on Thursday 30th January in Aylesbury. Here's the official notification. Town &...