|Friday 21st Dec 2018, 7:30 p.m.|
|With Ashton Band|
|Oldham Parish Church|
This year the choir joined with Ashton Band in the Parish Church for our annual feast of Christmas music. This time it was a mild evening and the concert was greatly enjoyed. Ashton Band made an excellent first impression.
Click here to view the concert programme. Tickets were £7.50 (School children £1)
The Oldham Chronicle gave the following detailed review.
|Oldham Choral Society family carol concert review|
Every year Christmas starts for many people with the annual Family Carol Concert presented by Oldham Choral Society at Oldham Parish Church.
It is a much-loved evening in the Society’s musical calendar.
This year the Ashton Band took their place alongside the choir in offering a wonderful Christmas stocking of goodies.
‘Christmas Carols For All’ boasted the posters, and that was exactly what we got. From Arthur Sullivan to John Rutter, via Michael Head and Irving Berlin, with shades of Leroy Anderson and Bing Crosby, this warm-hearted Christmas offering delighted the packed audience.
That the BBC are broadcasting their television Christmas Day service from Oldham Parish Church just shows how popular this venue is, and with the ornate and colourful decoration and the ambience of the building it will be a real winner for festive worship on the 25th.
Oldham Choral Society have been offering their unique blend of traditional and modern carols and music at this venue for many years and this concert on Friday 21st was one of their best.
The Ashton Band, under conductor Philip Chalk, galloped through compilations of Christmas music with verve and precision and with a Euphonium solo by Matthew Hill in the variations on Rule Britannia, ‘Brillante’.
The Choral Society was superbly accompanied by Angela Lloyd Mostyn, and the whole choir was under the musical direction of Nigel P. Wilkinson. Nigel also arranged a couple of the pieces.
The traditional carols are evocative of childhood days, before advent of mobile phones, 24-hour television and computer games, when families gathered together round the piano singing favourite carols or banded in groups of singers bringing cheer to the streets.
I challenge anyone not to be taken back to their childhood fireside when Christmas gifts were likely to be a new jumper and an orange!
Time moves on but this annual Christmas concert bestrides the generations and is as vital to the spirit of Christmas as Turkey and Tinsel.
The audience came into their own during ‘Schneewalzer’ played by the band, as they swayed first left, then right, then nodding and standing, a la Andre Rieu, proving we are all children at heart.
Three items from Handel’s Messiah were greatly appreciated and when the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ brought the concert to a close we knew we were ready for Christmas.
After the concert mince pies, coffee or wine, and conversation, ended a wonderful evening.
The Oldham Choral Society rehearses every Monday at Chadderton Town Hall and anyone who wishes to join them should come along.
The Society’s next performance will be Verdi’s Requiem in April at the Royal Northern College of Music.