The choir’s final performance of the year was a festive and very apposite one at Manchester Central Library’s annual Christmas Extravaganza. As ever we were very well looked after by the library staff, who provided us with hot drinks and “mince pies a-plenty”. Many thanks to Ros Edwards and Darren Rawcliffe for making us so welcome.
We were introduced by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who had come to thank us for raising £20,000 for his homelessness charity, A Bed Every Night, by organising the Manchester Streetchoirs Festival attended by over 1000 singers, in July this year.
Our repertoire today spoke directly of the global situation and more poignantly of the state of the nation directly after the election. We opened our set with the rousing round Now We Are Met which celebrates the joy of coming together and singing. I wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free talks movingly of the importance of being true to yourself. We sang Every Brick You Take From the Wall with real passion and feeling – small individual actions can make a significant difference.
Some of our favourite seasonal songs followed – Past Three A-Clock (which talks of the light returning at the turn of the year), May Your Cup Always Be Full (based on a traditional wassailing song), and Tar Barrel in Dale (New Year celebrations in Allendale, Northumberland).
We finished our set with the moving song written for a grandmother about her grandchild, Who Will You Be, the sixties pop song Happy Together to raise our spirits, and finally a rousing call to the reindeer in Scandinavia, the Sami joik Oley Ley Loyla.
A lovely way to round off a packed and very enjoyable first term with new Musical Director Rose Hodgson.
Lizzie Gent 14/12/2019
Photos by Peter Woods