On Saturday 7th December, the church choir joined forces with Cantorion Sanctaidd for an afternoon of festive music and a little bit of fun! Cantorion Sanctaidd is a small, local choir performing non-secular music in venues around the greater Gwent area, and the idea for a joint concert was formed in conversations with Chairman, Paul Williams, and accompanist, Caroline Davies. A very pleasing audience of nearly 150 people enjoyed Christmas music sung by both choirs separately and together, accompanied on the organ by Linda Stevens and on the keyboard by Caroline, with Richard Price conducting Cantorion Sanctaidd. The general consensus during the interval and after the concert was that the afternoon concert was very much enjoyed. The timing was deliberate: a 2.00 start and over before 4.00 to allow older people to get home before dark was a success! The choirs and audience sang well-known carols with the organ, before the choirs perform a variety of carols and songs as individual choirs. Adam lay ybounden, the Coventry Carol, The Star of Bethlehem by Mansel Thomas, several carols by John Rutter and some lovely close harmony festive items performed by Cantorion Sanctaidd made up the main programme but the choirs came together to sing Philip Stopford’s ‘In the bleak midwinter’ and ‘While shepherds watched their flock by night’ to an arrangement of ‘On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat’. The combined choirs numbered 54 choristers and made a powerful sound in the congregational carols. The concert ended with a fun rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas and much very generous applause. Everyone had enjoyed chatting during the interval whilst partaking of mince pies, mulled wine and tea and coffee. There was a lovely atmosphere in church and many people suggested this concert becomes an annual event. We’ll see!! For the church choir it was an unusual feeling to receive applause after we sang; this doesn’t happen in church during a service, but we responded well to this encouragement.

My grateful thanks to all those people who helped in the organisation of the concert before and on the day, to the choirs for their excellent performances and to members of the audience who were so generous in their applause and praise. Thank you all.

St John's Church Maindee