REVIEW: Angmering concert’s warming winter blend

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AS varied as the contents of festive toffees in their shiny wrappings, the Angmering Chorale’s Carols and Choirs concert was a delightful programme of Christmas musical contrasts.

Four school choirs and the Patcham Silver Band joined the Chorale in the hall at The Angmering School for a heartwarming evening when frost chilled the air outside.

Variety was all around, not just among the performers, but in the audience, too, with families, including babes in arms, while the oldest in attendance, Aunty Florence, 100, a loyal supporter of the Chorale, was given a round of applause.

A much wider timespan for the Chorale ranged from the 14th century Angelus ad Virginem to the contemporary Rapping Paper, very different pieces but sung with equal commitment and enthusiasm.

Pupils from St Wilfrid’s Primary, Angmering, Georgian Gardens Primary, Rustington, Rose Green Infants, Bognor and Swiss Gardens Primary, Shoreham, waited patiently before their first selection of carols, the Shoreham choir impressing by singing in Spanish the first verse of Away in a Manger, but all of them melting hearts and storing up precious memories for watching mums, dads and grandparents.

The band struck up for the first time with The Muppets, before calming the mood with O Holy Night. Later, their medley We Wish You a Merry Jingle by the Sea was a wonderful arrangement blending Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Sussex by the Sea.

The audience, too, made the most of opportunities to join in familiar carols with the choirs and band, truly a sound to gladden the heart.

Chorale musical director George Jones showed his flair for enthusing children in music-making, with admirable support from accompanist Alison Manton and the band’s musical director, James Benka-Coker.

Review: Roger Green