Newbury Choral Society - bringing the finest
choral music alive since 1885

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Winter concert 2017 flyer


Regd Charity Number 1157796



Regd Charity Number 261017









NCS Winter Concert 2017



Newbury Choral Society is delighted to be supporting this year’s Newbury & District Cancer Care Trust & Macmillan Cancer Support Christmas Concert at St Nicolas Church. This annual event not only raises vital funds for local cancer charities but also marks the start of the Christmas celebrations for many in the community.

As well as familiar and traditional carols with audience participation, we shall be presenting Christmas music by contemporary composers that has proved popular with choral societies around the world.

The profound influence of Greek Orthodoxy on John Tavener's devout belief is a feature of all three pieces presented: God is With Us, with its suggestion of eastern plainsong, was composed in 1987, while Today the Virgin, with its text by Mother Thekla, Tavener's spiritual mentor, is perhaps best remembered for the triumphant "Alleluia" which rounds off each verse.

Two contrasting pieces by John Rutter form a more conventional part of the programme. Dormi Jesu (1999) is a cradle song derived from a lyric by Coleridge, in which the gentle rhythms suggest the rocking of the Christ child's cradle. Jesus Child is altogether jauntier and reminiscent of traditional spirituals.

Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on Christmas Carols will surely need little introduction. Composed in 1912, it features a baritone soloist and several traditional English folk carols.  American composer Morten Lauridsen has been praised for "choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth”, beautifully demonstrated  in his O cMagnum Mysterium with echoes of Gregorian chant.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas dates back to 1944 and has been arranged and modified countless times in the process of becoming one of the world's most performed Christmas songs. This arrangement expands it into a medley of other well-known American Christmas songs. Newbury Choral Society and our Musical Director, Cathal Garvey, would like to echo the message of the song by wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!





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