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26 December 2017

Christmas Carol Concert at King's College

The annual King's Hall Carol Service is the point at which many pupils and parents feel that Christmas really begins!

Again, we were treated to another wonderful occasion, full of beautiful readings, heavenly singing from the school choirs, and a strong commitment to congregational singing.

The service began traditionally in near darkness with Isabella Lawford singing the opening solo to Once in Royal David’s City.

The procession arrived, with banners and candles in hand, while the carol resounded around the full chapel. The soaring descant led into the opening introduction and prayers, which was then swiftly followed by the glorious Of the Father’s Heart Begotten, complete with double descant in the last verse!

Ellen Hill (Y4) was the first of the evening’s readers and she was followed by the Senior Choir’s first anthem – a three-part arrangement of Ding Dong! Merrily on High. Though small in number, the young singers filled the chapel with a strong, enthusiastic sound.

Isabel Noble (Y5) read the second lesson and the Senior Choir followed with Michael Head’s serene The Little Road to Bethlehem. The congregation then had the chance to indulge in a little role-play as the men and women/children sang the story of Good King Wenceslas.

Will Mowat (Y6) read the third lesson and was followed by the Senior Choir singing Malcolm Sargent’s arrangement of the Zither Carol.

Vincent Yates (Y7) read the fourth lesson and then a larger group took the steps to perform – the Pyrland Choir (comprising Years 3 and 4, although missing quite a number due to illness) sang the toe-tapping Rejoice with Us!

After Johnnie Drysdale (Y8) read the fifth lesson we then had a treat from Miss Tustian’s new Rainforest Choir – a three-part unaccompanied African Noel. Due to her commitments directing the Brewhouse Theatre’s Christmas Carol musical, she couldn’t be there to direct the singers herself, but Mr Dayus-Jones stepped in and the group gave undoubtedly one of the highlights from the service.

Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending was a new and welcome addition, as was the exciting descant which the choir loved learning. Head Girl and Head Boy Harrie Richardson and Max Earp gave us the sixth lesson and the Senior Choir followed with the gentle Children’s Song of the Nativity.

A moment of reflection came in the form of the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem before Mr Chippendale took to the lectern to read the all-important seventh lesson – The Word Becomes Flesh.

The Senior Choir’s final anthem was the ever-popular Joy to the World, again in three parts, and the service concluded with the tremendous O Come, All Ye Faithful.

Well done to all involved in putting together such a wonderful service.

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