Sweet singing in the Choir
For its Christmas concert, Tickhill Music Society was entertained by the renowned chamber choir, Abbeydale Singers, from Sheffield. The choir, under its ebullient director, Kevin Haighton, performed a selection of carols ancient and modern, familiar and otherwise. Some of the ancient carols were given an uncompromising modern harmonization, but all were sung with attention to detail and with feeling.
Thus “Silent Night” was re-invigorated by a new arrangement, which took nothing away from the simple appeal of the original. Similar treatment was afforded to such standards as “Deck the Hall”, which at one point was infiltrated by bagpipers, and “the Twelve Days of Christmas”. In case any reader thinks this was a disrespectful way to treat well-loved carols, they can be assured that they were warmly embraced by the enthusiastic audience.
The audience was also introduced to the concept of macaronic text, where the words of the carol are a mixture of English and Latin – a common feature of many carols. How the expression made the journey from cookery to musicology was not explained.
It was also appreciated that the choir mingled with the audience in the interval, to share mince pies and join in the Christmas spirit. For those who feel jaded by the approach of Christmas, this concert was the ideal tonic.