The heavens opened as the audience arrived at our Christmas concert, held this year at Sage Cross Methodist Church, the weather adding a couple of centimetres of rain to the record of the wettest December ever.

The Church was a warm and welcoming contrast to the storm outside and we were delighted to have a capacity audience to whom the singers responded very positively.

Liz had introduced several new songs to the choir in the Autumn term and they rose to the challenge of performing them for the first time. The rousing Gaudiamus Hodie  opened the concert in medieval style. The traditional theme was extended in an arrangement of The Holly and the Ivy. A contemporary carol, Ivy and Holly and the touching Cradle Hymn were also new additions to the repertoire of Christmas favourites such as Fum, fum, fum, the Sans Day and Coventry Carols.

World music included two new songs; Isa Lei, a beautiful song that Sue, one of our members, had brought  back from her holiday in Fiji and Asikhatali from Africa.Other world music numbers such as Nkosi Sikelele Africa, Varado from Georgia and Gomo guru re Zimbabwe were rendered with great gusto.

Close Harmony sang Dirty Old Town. Coughs, colds and circumstances had depleted our numbers; we were glad to see Sue Wilson in the audience, but missed Anne-Marie and Carol. We were very grateful to Astrid who stepped in at the very last minute to join Helen and Alison in singing the first verse of Stille Nacht.

As always, a successful event is supported by many willing hands. Huge thanks to Mary Ward and the church members from Sage Cross who were so helpful. Thanks to choir members, friends and family who got stuck in to help with refreshments and raffle ticket selling, to Cath and the Christmas Tree elves and to my committee colleagues.

As always, hip, hip, hooray for our brilliant and tireless Musical Director, Liz.

A really wonderful evening of music and festive celebration which made a fantastic £600 for our chosen charity, Home-Start Melton and Rutland.

Sarah Bowie