A capacity audience at St Helen’s Church was given a wonderfully varied Christmas concert by the Community Chorus, Children’s Choir and Drama students from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD). Maeve Tonkin-Wells and Ross Foley, second year Drama students, gave highly accomplished and entertaining readings from Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” which alternated with the musical items in the programme.
The choral items ranged from the 16th Century to contemporary classical music and music theatre including the anonymous “Gaudete!”, “Scots Nativity” (Alan Bullard), “The Lamb” & “Star Carol” (John Rutter) and “Feels Like Christmas” from “The Muppet Christmas Carol”.
The children’s choir was admirably directed by guest conductor, James Bingham, who is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting at the RWCMD. James had worked with the choir through the term teaching them new repertoire and developing their choral skills.
Indeed, all the leading performers in the concert are either current or former students of our National Conservatoire – Maeve & Ross (Drama department), conductors James, Rosie Howarth, Nigel Jones & accompanists Ceri Gifford-Berry and Sara Hodges (Music department).
The concert opened with the processional carol , “Once in Royal David’s City” with the children singing from the rear of the church before processing towards the altar. This was followed by the first of the evening’s Dylan Thomas readings before the first contribution from the Community Chorus. The audience had a part to play, also, with some rousing traditional carols. The rich and varied programme was eventually brought to a close with both choirs combining in a medley from the hit film “Frozen”! The youngsters in the audience just couldn’t resist joining in – and why not!!!