“The highlights for me were the audience singing so whole-heartedly… and the orchestra’s playing of Killian’s Festive Selection in so many different moods, from quietly reflective / beguiling to such jazzy rhythms that I wanted to get up and dance!”
The recent concert of Christmas music and carols at the Todmorden Town Hall was a delightful occasion. The Todmorden Orchestra and the Todmorden Choral Society under their conductors Nicholas Concannon Hodges and Antony Brannick, provided a varied programme old, new, and variations thereof, which allowed a significant audience participation. Everyone played and sang with such verve and gusto from the opening of O Come, O Come Emmanuel to the final boisterous closing of We wish you a Merry Christmas.
We are fortunate to have fine local musicians who specially arranged some of the music for us. Christopher Irvins’s Reindeer Rondo with its enthusiastic sleigh bells playing by the audience led by children guided by Heather Hudson was the first. Lawrence Killian’s Shepherd’s Pipe Carol with sparkling flute obbligato played by Lynda Robertson, and his Festive Selection no3 which allowed the orchestra to play many well loved favourites in quite different guises, were others. They did full justice to the latter, with fine playing from all sections.
I have never heard the choir sing so beautifully, with well-balanced voices, warmth, sweetness and sensitivity, and such clear diction that we could actually hear the words. The highlights for me were the audience singing so whole-heartedly, even new variations and in canon, tunes they didn’t even know, skilfully conducted by Nicholas, and the orchestra’s playing of Lawrence’s Festive Selection in so many different moods, from quietly reflective / beguiling to such jazzy rhythms that I wanted to get up and dance!
The choir’s memorable unaccompanied singing of their chosen carols including the lovely We Three Kings with tenor solo sung by Patrick Smith, and the utterly beautiful Berlioz’s Shepherds Farewell were other high spots. What a splendid way to wish us all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Congratulations and thanks to all those concerned.