Philip Carmody, the choir’s other co-artistic director, brought a sense of showmanship and fun to the evening’s Christmas fare, which included excerpts from Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, an up-beat arrangement of Jingle Bells by Ray Charles and the ubiquitous Hallelujah chorus. Welcome contrasts were provided by a vigorous Handelian take on Joy to the World, followed by the charm and quiet of the German carol Still, still, still.
Blending French and English words, Carmody’s own arrangement of O Holy Night was crowned by an impassioned solo from Reynolds. Leighton Jones also contributed a well characterised cameo as Good King Wenceslas accompanied by his trusty page, Ryan Cen.
Four rising treble stars – Oscar Morris, Robert Strangward, Matthew Risson and Harry Hendel – were among those who gave accomplished solos along the way. Hendel’s rendition of Walking in the Air from Howard Blake’s The Snowman displayed sensitivity to text and a good sense of musical line.
A rousing rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful by massed choir, soloists and orchestra provided a suitably festive finale.