Conductor Robert Jones had every reason to smile as he stood among some members of his 41 voice Seaway Valley Singers. The Singers had just finished their December 16 concert, O Come, O Come, in Iroquois United Church. The packed house gave the choir a standing ovation.
The Singers present two concerts a year, and the Christmas celebration is eagerly anticipated in the community.
Mixing classical and religious songs with bouncing secular pieces, there was something to please everyone in this year’s program. The spiritual, Rise Up Shepherd And Follow, which highlighted all the choir divisions, was rich and soulful. The Minuet Noel, an unexpected mingling of Bach’s composition with the First Noel was also very pleasing. And with the full choir beautifully backing her, Margaret Whisselle (who is also the Singers’ accompanist) allowed her powerful soprano voice to fill the hall in Gesu Bambino.
There was definitely a twinkle in conductor Jones’ eye as the Singers performed the (very) unconventional, The Twelve Days After Christmas. (How many of us, in the stress of the season, have not thought about a ‘cartridge’ and that partridge!) It was great musical fun.
The Handbell Ringers of Winchester United Church were again very welcome guests at the concert, performing several pieces and leading the entire audience in a lively version of Jingle Bells.
Word is that the Seaway Valley Singers are already hard at work putting together another fantastic concert scheduled for the spring.