MUSIC REVIEW - Bourne Choral Society, Programme of Advent and Christmas Music, Bourne Abbey Church.

Bourne Choral Society.

Bourne Choral Society.

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Town choir making a chorus line exceedingly festive

No Christmas season would be complete without the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

As a setting, Bourne Abbey was far from a distant second on Saturday when the town’s choral society put on its own version of the university city’s Christmas Eve fixture which was first held in 1918.

Bourne Choral Society, directed by Jenny Bean and featuring guest soloist soprano Jenny Thompson, sang a Christmas cocktail of music which included five excerpts from the magnificent Handel’s Messiah.

The evening opened with a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, followed by works by Frenchman Gabriel Faure, Gustav Holst and Benjamin Britten, as well as more recent compositions by John Rutter, Elizabeth Poston and Roy Bennett.

At the end, the audience was invited to join in with three popular carols - Silent Night, Ding Dong Merrily on High and a personal favourite of this reviewer’s, O Little Town of Bethlehem.

But perhaps the song that really made the hairs of your neck stand on air was the choir’s expert rendition of the hymn There’s A Wideness in God’s Mercy, first written by Yorkshire-born priest Frederick Faber in 1862.

A very merry pre-Christmas indeed at Bourne Abbey Church.

Review by Winston Brown.