St Mary’s Parish Church, on the Causeway in Horsham, and Rev’d. Bernard Sinton hosted the Collyer’s annual Christmas Concert. The congregation enjoyed an evening of festive music and readings by students and staff.
The evening began with J. Joubert’s Torches and a rousing performance of Once in Royal David’s City (Phillips Brooks) followed by Rev’d. Bernard Sinton’s welcome and prayer.
After a reading by Henry Yuill of Christ’s Birth and Kingdom are Foretold by Isaiah (Isaiah Ch 9, vs 2, 6-7), Kyrie from Christchurch Mass (M. Archer) was performed by Soloists Vicky Ridgeway and Lucy Campion. Ed Cozens (Solo Clarinet) performed Concertino for Clarinet and Strings (G. Tartini, arr. G. Jacob). Eleanor Gray then gave the second reading, The Birth of Jesus (Luke Ch, vs 1-14).
During the evening the audience also enjoyed wonderful performances of Vivaldi’s Gloria, K. Jenkins’ Sanctus from the Armed Man, Agnus Dei Canon (D. Moore), Sarabande for Piano Tio (J. Halvorsen) Silent Night (F. Gruber arr. J. Mohr), Ding Dong Merrily on High (G. Woodward, arr. R. Hurd) and Goodnight Sweetheart (C. Carter and J. Hudson, arr. R. Sand). The congregation joined the choir for O Little Town of Bethlehem (P. Brooks).
As the evening drew to a close, Collyer’s Principal Sally Bromley gave a reading of Anne Bronte’s Music on Christmas Morning; all were then invited to sing O come all ye faithful (F. Oakley). The Blessing was read by Rev’d. Bernard Sinton, who kindly invited everyone to stay for mince pies and mulled wine!
Collyer’s Principal, Sally Bromley said: “I was immensely proud of the students’ performances. We are so lucky to have such talented young people at Collyer’s! The Christmas concert is a Collyer’s tradition not to be missed, so huge thanks to Rev’d. Bernard Sinton and all at St Mary’s for hosting us again this year.”
The Collyer’s choir, directed by Sarah Forbes, featured: Charles Newton, Hayden Price, Devika Pradeep Lal, Charlotte Lord, Alexandra Holl; Megan Elliot, Ed Cozens, Tym Bielenski; Carys Underwood, Vicky Ridgway and Lucy Campion.
The church organ was played by Mike Overend, piano by Sue Graham Smith, with sound recording and lighting from Dan Page and Marcus Bell. The Piano Trio comprised Tym Bielinski (piano), Vicky Ridgway (violin) and Carys Underwood (cello) with Strings featuring Vicky Ridgway, David Ironmong, Toby Lancaster, Carys Underwood, Samuel Kwong and Adam Barker. The Musical Director was Ben Dowsett.
Other stars on the night included Collyer’s Linda MacLeman and members of the RCU (Richard Collyer Union – Collyer’s student council) who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event possible and collected for the Chestnut Tree House, a children’s hospice care charity.
Deputy Principal Steve Martell was delighted: “We owe massive thanks to Musical Director Ben Dowsett, the teachers, technical team, student union, Linda MacLeman, West Sussex Music and our amazing students. They are an absolute credit to the Collyer’s community!”