Festive concert of note

Last updated 10:24 05/12/2012
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Combined voices: The Hutt Valley Singers and Major Minors Children’s Choir bring Christmas music to Upper Hutt this Sunday, December 9.

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Two Upper Hutt-based choirs combine to perform a selection of Christmas music on Sunday, December 9.

The Hutt Valley Singers and the Major Minors Children's Choir have been working with musical director Joanne Roelofs preparing their contributions.

Each choir has a selection of songs and there are combined pieces where about 60 choristers create a warm and full sound.

Ms Roelofs has chosen a variety of music including audience participation carols, an American spiritual, Band Aid's Do they Know It's Christmas (a favourite), Jingle Bell Rock, Star Child and some surprises.

The Hutt Valley Singers' major piece is Fantasia on Christmas Carols by English composer Ralph Vaughan William, written and first performed exactly 100 years ago.

The piece is English folk carols interposed with well-known carols.

The piece was originally for solo baritone, choir and orchestra, and the Hutt Valley Singers present their interpretation with baritone soloist Justin Pearce, choir and piano played by Karen Boyce.

Other pieces include the southern hemisphere premiere of On a Gentle Winter's Night written in 2001 by rising English composer Alison Wrenn and The Shepherd's Chorus from Amahl and the Night Visitors by 20th century Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti.

Members of the Major Minors Children's choir formed this year are looking forward to again performing with the adult choir. The children's choir has 20 members, aged 4 to 11.

"Many of the children have solos in this concert. Their sound and confidence is developing each week and they are doing brilliantly," Ms Roelofs says.

"They are a delight to work with. Among the choirs are two families where there is a grandparent singing in the same concert as their grandchild - this is wonderful. Both families love having the dual involvement.

"The two choirs have worked very hard this year with lots of programmes to work on as well as performing so are looking forward to coming together again to sing."

Fantasia on Christmas starts at 2.30pm on Sunday at the Upper Hutt Baptist Church, corner of Fergusson Dr and Milton St. Easy access, families welcome. Tickets at the door. Adults $10, children $5.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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