The Joy to the World concert on Sunday at Trinity Methodist Church and Community Hub in Clitheroe was attended by a capacity audience in spite of it being a very cold evening and earlier threat of snow.
Nigel Rix, chairman of Clitheroe Christians in Partnership, sponsors of the event, welcomed the audience and the Ribble Valley Choir and Orchestra with members travelling from as far as Settle, Barnoldswick and Colne.
Deputy Mayor of the Ribble Valley, Coun. Stuart Carefoot was impressed with the range of music presented and particularly modern music which he found unusual in his visits to Christmas musical events.
The music included Ave Maria by Gounod based on a Prelude by J. S. Bach from the 17th Century sung beautifully by Yvonne Hartlebury accompanied by the orchestral strings and organ played by Beverley Jones, a choral version of Elgar’s Nimrod, a carol by John Rutter, a modern “soul” version of Go tell It On The Mountain accompanied by Dorothy Birtwell on the piano and Andrew Kellington on drums, and a new carol composed by Dennis Ogden, a member of Trinity Church.
The audience loved the version of the song Take These Wings with Katie Baird as soloist, who also danced as she acted out the words of the song. Katie was accompanied by the choir and strings of the orchestra with flautist Hilary Ashton playing beautifully a very tuneful descant.
Mayor of Clitheroe Coun. Maureen Fenton read the poem Jesus Went To London based on the Grenfell Tower tragedy during a review of the past year, Madeline Adey read John Betjeman’s poem on Christmas and the audience sang four traditional carols with great gusto.
Providing a touch of comedy, Gerry Purchase read a fun poem about a weary Santa Claus and, along with Glen Purchase, Kim Croydon and Richard Thornton, performed a sketch about three camel drivers at Charnock El Sheik services making their way down the “Camelway 6 ” to find a new born baby in the hope of finding fame and a place in the history books!
Steuart Kellington, musical director, was thrilled with the response from the large audience and remarked: “Conducting the Ribble Valley Choir and orchestra singing Hark the herald angels sing with 400 happy voices surrounding me was the real start of Christmas for me!”
The Rev. Ian Humphreys, Superintendent of the Clitheroe Methodist Circuit welcomed the audience on arrival and as they left, and was very pleased to see so many smiling faces.
He said: “My, how wonderful to have a full church at a concert celebrating Christmas on 'a cold winter’s night'. We should be very pleased indeed!”