St Mary’s Parish Church, on the Causeway in Horsham, and Rv’d. Canon Lisa Barnett 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.S Bach’s Sonata for Violin Solo No. 1 in G Minor, BMV 1001 – 1. Adagio, C.F. Alexander’s Once in Royal David’s City, followed by Rv’d. Canon Lisa Barnett’s welcome and opening prayer.
After a reading of ‘The Birth of Jesus Christ’ by Lizzie Macaulay, the congregation enjoyed the Coventry Carol (arr. M Shaw) and Gershwin’s Lullaby for Strings (arr. Ben Dowsett). ‘The Shepherds and the Angels’ was read by Beth Flanders, followed by Leontovych’s Carol of the Bells (arr. Ben Dowsett), Adagio and Allegro from Concerto in D Major (G.P. Telemann arr. K. Van-Arsdalen), Purcell’s Rondeau from Abdelazer (arr. C. Madeira) and everyone joined together to sing O come all ye faithful (Oakley).
Beth Flander’s reading of ‘Visitors from the East’, was followed by La Folia (D. Banney) and Hallelujah (L.Cohen). Collyer’s Principal Dan Lodge then read My Christmas Wish for You (Ruth Kephart). The “White Winter Cup Song” (R. Peckfold and A.P. Carter) and Hark the Herald Angels Sing was followed by Rev’s Canon Lisa Barnett’s blessing. The evening closed with Sleighride for Strings (Peter Martin).
Collyer’s Chair of Governors, Graham Lawrence said: “It was lovely to be back in person, having been away since 2019.
“The Christmas concert is a Collyer’s tradition not to be missed, so huge thanks to Rv’d. Canon Lisa Barnett and all at St Mary’s for hosting us again this year.”
The Collyer’s choir, directed by Mark Bradbury, featured: Bryony Banks, Feli Beissel, Michael Cleaver, Joshua Crabb, Bertie Cripps ; Grace De La Torre, Daisy England, Marce Hamer, Kalina Heathcote; Farrah Henderson, Holly Hudson, Isabella Laudiano-Dray, Sam Ledger; Charlotte Man, Elise Marsh, Jess Marshall, Ella McIntyre-Granger; Lucy Phillips; Jessica Ridgers, Jennifer Skipp, Casie So, Joe Steel; Adrien Taylor; Scarlett Townsend, Morgan Van Yperen, Finn Wilkie and Maddie Wright. The organ was played by John Newton, with Alison Sutton on the piano.
The orchestra, conducted by Ben Dowsett, comprised: Feli Beissel, Molly Betts, Penelope Brooks, Bertie Cripps; Roseanna Graves, Natalia Harrison-Herrero, Cloris Lau, John Newton; Lucy Phillips, Jennifer Skipp, Joe Steel, Adrien Taylor and Sophie Tietz
The Sinfonia was directed by Adam Barker and featured Feli Beissel, Roseanna Graves, Phoebe Hewitt, Elise Lancaster; Anneli Matthews, Leanne Morley, Phillips, Jennifer Skipp; Georgia Smith and Sophie Tietz. Sound recording was by Dan Page and Collyer’s Linda MacLeman worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event possible. Members of the RCU (Richard Collyer’s Student Union) collected for the British Red Cross, as part of this Christmas’ RCU charity campaign.
Collyer’s Principal, Dan Lodge said: “I was immensely proud of the students’ performances. We are so lucky to have such talented young people at Collyer’s!”