Elgar Chorale at Mayor’s Christmas Concert in Guildhall

The Mayor of  Worcester’s Christmas Charity Concert – 8th December 2017. 

Elgar Chorale and the Mayor of Worcester at the Carol Concert 08/12/2017

One of the highlights of the musical year has to be attending the Elgar Chorale’s contribution to The Worcester Mayor’s annual Charity Concert, held in the sumptuous surroundings of the City’s Guildhall. This year audience figures were at near record levels (perhaps a measure of the current Mayor’s popularity?!) and my goodness we were treated to a simply splendid evening of quality entertainment and fun. The tried and tested formula of interspersing Christmas songs and readings is a delight for an audience, allowing some welcome moments of musical reflection, and also the chance to join the Chorale in singing favourite carols. The musical content of the evening was assembled and overseen by the multi-talented Malcolm Macleod, who conducted and sensitively accompanied where necessary. The Chorale was on top form, with strong soloists stepping forward from the ranks. A particular highlight was baritone Tim Cox taking the lead in Peter Cornelius’ The Three Kings, an example of two seemingly disparate passages of music blending beautifully and seamlessly to make a stunning Christmas offering. The choir switched happily from jazzy spirituals to more traditional numbers, and handled Howells’ ‘A Spotless Rose’ with aplomb.

A word also about the spoken aspect of the evening, where the Chorale’s Patron Sir Roy Strong, Gabrielle Bullock and choir member Tim Watson excelled themselves with not only the selection but also the delivery of a whole spectrum of readings and poetry. Sir Roy even delivered one of his own pieces, a reflection on Christmas, that he penned many years ago as part of his regular contributions to Country Life.

Here’s sincerely hoping that this early December concert remains firmly rooted in Worcester’s traditional build-up to Christmas for many years to come. It is as festive as the fairy on top of the tree!

Peter Lawson.