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Frankie Valli said it best: ‘Oh what a night!’

The Three Choirs Concert at Cirencester Parish Church was a joyous evening.

Perhaps people love choirs, or love Christmas, or are fed up being stuck at home as unpleasant bugs confine us for far longer than we may have imagined. Perhaps it was a mixture of all three.

Whatever the motivation, we saw a church packed from front to back as we sang carols, seasonal songs and even a sea ballad as hundreds gathered for a forerunner of Christmas with enjoyed wine, mince pies and a sense of community.

Parish Church filled with people
Photo: Gary Gleghorn

Hosted by the Cirencester Male Voice Choir, with superb support from both the Cirencester Singers and the Cirencester Community Choir, it was a wonderful escape from trying times.

Our thanks to the choirs, the Friends of CMVC, the staff of the beautiful Parish Church of St John Baptist, and our compere for the evening, Revd Canon Graham Morris. Thanks too, to the excellent accompanist James Quinn who joined us for the evening.

Canon Graham Morris introduces the event
Canon Rev Graham Morris introduces the concert Photo: Gary Gleghorn

Our apologies to those who were not able to join us. The event proved so popular that, sadly, we had to suspend ticket sales several days before the concert.

Most especially our thanks go to the people who packed the church and stuck faithfully to the Covid regulations. They made it a success. Forget ‘The Masked Singer’. This was The Masked Audience!

CMVC with Christmas lights
Photo: Gary Gleghorn

It was also the first full performance for CMVC’s new Music Director James Willshire – and as we heard from Canon Morris and from the audience – he has done a great job ‘whipping the choir into shape’!

A CHALLENGE FOR THE COMING YEAR!

Canon Morris enjoyed the evening so much that he has set a challenge for the three choirs – that we return in the summer with a special concert to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Cirencester Male Voice Choir
Photo: Gary Gleghorn

Each choir sang four or five songs before and after the interval, and the audience joined with Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

The Cirencester Male Voice Choir gave us Jingle Bell Rock, When a Child is Born, Little Road to Bethlehem, Oh Holy Night, Christmas Song, There is Faint Music, and, antlers donned, a rousing rendition of Reindeer on the Roof.

From the Cirencester Singers, directed by Amy Garry, we heard Winter Wonderland, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Away in A Manger, Fix You, Once In Royal David’s City, Last Christmas, Over the Rainbow, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas

And from the Cirencester Community Choir, under Vicky Sweeney, I Am A River, Wellerman, Dunstan Lullaby, Moon River, Asimbonanga, White Christmas, We Shall Be Known, Sailing, and Do Weidzenya.