NewsIMG 1710 Joy to the World

The Joy to the World concert on Sunday 4th December featuring Ribble Valley Choir and Orchestra was a resounding success. This annual event took place at Trinity Methodist Church and Community Hub in Parson Lane, Clitheroe. The church was packed with an appreciative audience who enjoyed an engaging, thought provoking and entertaining afternoon. The mayors of the Ribble Valley and Clitheroe Town took part with Councillor Stuart Hirst, Ribble Valley Mayor, offering Christmas greetings and Councillor Jenni Schumann, Clitheroe Mayor, playing her oboe in the orchestra as usual.

Christmas music included the Twelve Eco Days of Christmas, with new “eco” words, sung as a round with the audience, the Angels’ carol, Gesu Bambino with Yvonne Hartlebury as the soloist and favourite carols Joy to the World and Hark the herald angels sing. The choir and orchestra were conducted by Steuart Kellington and the violinist Andrew Hall led the orchestra.

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As has become established over the eleven years since the first Joy to the World concert, key events of the year and anniversaries were included using music, drama, poetry and dance. Madeline Adey and Andrew Piercy introduced the items and explained the reasons for their inclusion. They first introduced dancers Lydia Humphreys and Imogen Clarkson of Ribble Valley Dance who danced beautifully to Elgar’s Salut d’amour. A sketch acted by William Burns and Gerry Purchase followed, which finally revealed that the Esau was a donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem! A very moving performance of the spiritual Like a river in my soul was then performed by the Choir with a very demanding piano accompaniment played expertly by Dorothy Birtwell. A poetry interlude followed in which Richard Thornton read two poems written by Simon Armitage, the poet laureate, in honour of our late queen and Sue Paramore read the poem Mary’s song. Sue later performed a monologue by Michele and Abby Guinness called Miss Shepherd about a shepherdess who stayed with sheep instead of accompanying the shepherds to visit the stable. A very amusing sports review was then presented in rhyme by Norman Kelly.

A fitting climax to the music was the new Christmas composition Child of the Promise by Rose Aspinall and Jay Rouse for the choir and full orchestra, with Beverley Jones joining on the organ. The item included an excerpt from O Holy Night and ended with a majestic and appropriate setting of the words Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to all men.
The concert was introduced by Alan Meyer, Chair of Clitheroe Christians in Partnership who sponsored the concert and Revd Ian Humphreys, Superintendent Minister of the Clitheroe Methodist Circuit presented his reflections on the celebration of Christmas and
At the end of the concert, Revd Humphreys said “We have had an uplifting afternoon with quality singing and playing interspersed with relevant topical items reminding us of recent events. I will have to call in the building inspectors to check the condition of the roof after the rousing performance of Child of the Promise!”

A retiring collection for the Christian Aid Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal raised an amazing £1370. Following the concert, the audience enjoyed mince pies and coffee in Trinity Community Hub.

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