Last night saw the culmination of months of planning, preparation and rehearsals for our annual carol service. On arrival at Reading Minster, members of the congregation were treated to the church bells ringing out through the frosty air.
Wow! What spectacular musical talent. The church was packed to the rafters as friends, families and colleagues all joined together to share in this joyous occasion.
The scene was set with music by the harp ensemble (including junior school pupils), and a festive rendition of Troika. The lights dimmed and the service began with a traditional vocal solo of Once in Royal David’s City joined by the senior choir as they processed with cross and acolytes. We were treated to a range of traditional Christmas carols accompanied by the symphony orchestra and organ together with final verse descants from the senior choir. Many unforgettable moments followed with performances from Upper III choir, Fourth Form Choir, Staff Singers, and Harp Ensemble. The senior choir, very much the centrepiece of the service, delighted us with an eclectic mix of vocal offerings, demonstrating beautiful vocal tone and a mature understanding of the music. Student leadership at this event was particularly notable and well-received.
A highlight amongst many was John Rutter’s Star Carol performed by the massed choirs and orchestra which involved over 150 musicians.
A retiring collection was taken at the end of the service, with all proceeds going to Brass for Africa.