This event was a very well-received new departure. For the first time in many years, the Cantorum Christmas Concert was moved to Holy Trinity Church, Cookham.
A key factor prompting this switch of venue was the on-going problem of repairs and building work at St John’s, Cookham Dean. A change had to be made. It was very good to share the programme with Berkshire Young Voices, the children’s choir of Berkshire Maestros, who are also directed by our conductor Elisabeth Croft (née Toye). The addition of children’s voices was ideal for Christmas and brought a fresh and delightful quality to the event. Their singing was both polished and accomplished and was much appreciated by the audience. Our own choir’s contribution was built around the lovely Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols (Baritone soloist David Hazeldine) which concluded the first half. To open the concert, O Come, O Come Emanuel was sung antiphonally (Tenor soloist Malcolm Stork), before the choir took its places. Special note should also be made of the haunting Here is the Little Door, by Herbert Howells. The Wexford Carol was sung jointly with the children’s choir, and Rachel Harrison took the soprano solo in another joint piece: Bob Chilcott’s For him all stars have shone. Our superb guest brass quintet were a great success with Christmas Crackers by John Iveson and their resounding accompaniment to the four audience carols established them – as if there were any doubt – as a firm favourite at Cantorum’s Christmas.