The Manchester Carols, written by Carol Ann Duffy and composed by Sasha Johnson Manning, proved to be a brilliant choice for our Christmas concert.
Originally performed by a Manchester based choir and small group of players in Manchester, this mix of songs and readings proved to be challenging for the choir to learn and delightful for the audience to hear. Most of the carols used traditional forms – verses and a chorus, repeated lists, or a call and response motif – which made them very accessible and enjoyable on a first listening; and most of the rapt and enthusiastic audience had not heard the songs before. Sasha Johnson Manning has a gift for melody; Carol Ann Duffy created poetry that brought the meaning of the carols right up to date; and the readings, delivered by choir members, told the Christmas story in a way that was very relevant to today’s world.
Matthew Thomas Morgan declared himself very well satisfied with the result of a term’s hard work. Martin Jones accompanied the choir throughout with his usual skill and sensitivity, and was supported by two guest flautists and a bongo player.
The choir was very grateful to the Abbey School for their support in providing an excellent venue, and were delighted to be able to facilitate a donation of £500 to Christian Community Action, a local charity providing practical support in Reading to those leaving care or custody and setting up homes for perhaps the first time in their lives.
Reviewed by Liz Harrison
To see our videos or listen to the audios, please visit our events page.