It’s a Saturday evening, ten days before Christmas, and what better place for a music lover to welcome in the festive season than at the beautiful parish church of Ottery St Mary. It was packed for the traditional pre-Christmas concert, given by the Ottery St Mary Choral Society & Orchestra, under their conductor and Musical Director Malcolm Matthews.
The main work of the evening was Hummel’s Mass in C. This was preceded by Haydn’s Symphony No. 100 “The Military, played by the Orchestra, led by Sarah Greinig.
Included in the concert were four carols sung by the choir : Sussex Carol (Willcocks), The Shepherd’s Farewell (Berlioz), Christ is the Morning Star (Rutter) and When Christ Was Born of Mary Free (Archer). The choir was joined, by the audience, in “Carols for All”, always a popular feature of the Christmas concert.
Together with the organ, played by Andrew Carter, the orchestra added their colour and power to the congregational carols. Singing carols is always a joy, but more so in the company of a strong choir (with some soaring descants from the sopranos), organ and orchestra that, all combined, contributed to a rousing evening of music.
After the music the audience was invited to stay on, in the North Dorset aisle of the church, for a glass of wine and mince pies. This gave everyone the opportunity to meet with members of the orchestra and choir, and to talk with friends.
With thanks to our sponsors: