Following the inaugural Christmas Choir Showcase last year, on Wednesday 13th December, the festive event returned to Kings Place to celebrate the incredible vocal talents of the local area.
Compered once again by Father Christmas, the night welcomed five choirs to the stage to perform a varied repertoire of seasonal, pop and classical favourites.
Performing at the event for the first time, the Cecil Sharp House Choir were also first onto the stage. Known for their distinctive and original arrangements of Folk songs, they began their set with a beautiful Ukrainian New Year’s carol called Shchedryk before taking on The Wassail song, a traditional English song that refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door wishing good health.
The aptly named Guardian Angels took to the stage under the direction of Elizabeth Swain. The in-house choir of Guardian News and Media that meets every Wednesday lunchtime and is a fun, informal choir open to all staff, singing a wide range of music from classical to pop, folk and jazz. They delighted the crowd with their versions of God Bless the Child (the Arthur Herzog Jr and Billie Holiday classic) as well as White Winter Hymnal and Bethlehem Down.
Also returning to the stage following their performance last year, were the Grant Thornton Choir. Having been established in September 2015, the choir performs a broad range of repertoire from show tunes to world music and regularly performs in informal settings in pubs across London as well as at office events. Their musical director, Jonathan Schranz, is a freelance choral conductor with a diverse musical career ranging from parish churches to high security prisons. For the Choir Showcase, they performed ‘How high the moon’, ‘Hear my Prayer’, ‘Can you feel the love tonight’ and ‘Let it snow’.
After a group sing-a-long (slightly longer than planned due to a technical copy and paste error of the words!), and a well-deserved drink (!) it was back to the professionals with the Great Ormond Street Hospital Staff and Parent Choir. This relaxed choir, which enables both parents and staff to drop in around other commitments, sing every Wednesday in the Hospital’s Chapel. The group impressed the audience with their stunning versions of Silent Night, One Voice and Vuelie.
The hosts of the event, Kings Place Choir, were the last to perform. As one of Europe’s leading cultural hubs, the non-auditioned choir they set up for local residents, workers and community to get involved in, has gone from strength to strength over the years and ended the professional section of the night with a beautiful rendition of ‘Angel’
The audience was up on their feet again for the final group sing-a-long with Santa before heading to the bar to revitalise the vocal chords.
As well as being a huge amount of fun and a great opportunity for local residents and workers and their families and friends to meet, the event also raised over £900. This money has been gratefully received by local school Maria Fidelis who will be using it to buy text books for pupils in the new school term.
Thanks to everyone who performed and joined us and we do hope to see you all again next year !