Concert Review – ‘The Promise of Christmas’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Back in July 2019, my parents and I saw ‘Stuart Townend and Cambrensis in Concert’ at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff. Yesterday, my parents and I saw ‘The Promise of Christmas’ concert at St. David’s Hall. This helped to make me feel Christmassy. I enjoyed the carols and musical numbers being performed. 🙂

The concert featured the Cambrensis Choir and Orchestra as well as the Promise of Christmas Youth Choir and the St. David’s Praise Choir. The music director was Jeffrey Howard. I felt relaxed during that Saturday afternoon, hearing the music played; the songs sung and taking part in the singing as well.

It started with the whole choir and the orchestra doing a choral fanfare of ‘Come and Behold Him’ before we sang the carol ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’. The choir and orchestra then went to sing ‘Great, Great Joy’ before the Youth Choir sang two songs with the soloists Katie Howard and Olivia Vernon.

The choir and orchestra then went on to sing ‘Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven’ before we as the audience joined the choir to sing ‘Glorious Light’. The choir then sang ‘Adore’ before the orchestra performed the musical piece ‘Flight to Neverland’ composed by John Williams from the movie ‘Hook’.

I was delighted to hear a musical piece from a film like that, especially at around Christmas time. I wish we had more musical pieces from films performed during the concert such as from ‘The Lion King’ or perhaps the ‘Home Alone’ movies. ‘Walking in the Air’ from ‘The Snowman’ would be nice. 🙂

We had two more songs performed by the Youth Choir. It included soloists Osian Herco-Thomas and Erin Vernon. The choir then sang an ‘African Noel’ before we, as the audience, joined in to sing the song ‘Go, Tell it on the Mountain’. That ended the concert’s first half before the interval happened.

I admit I didn’t find the concert’s first half as exciting as the second half, but that’s because I’m not so familiar with the songs sung and the musical numbers performed. Thankfully, the concert’s second half was much better as there were carols and musical numbers I recognised once we sat back down.

The second half began with the concert performing ‘Sleigh Ride’, which I’ve heard a number of times including from the film ‘Elf’. The whole choir and orchestra also did ‘It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas’. This I recognised quite well from watching the 1994 remake of ‘Miracle of 34th Street’. 🙂

We as the audience joined in to sing ‘Joy Has Dawned Upon The World’ before the choir and the orchestra sang ‘Fullness of Grace’. The Youth Choir sang two more songs with soloist Christiana Pateli. The choir and orchestra then sang ‘Immanuel’, which I’ve sung myself in a church song group.

Afterwards, we as the audience joined in again to sing the 2nd and 3rd verses of ‘Silent Night’ whilst the choir sang ‘Night of Silence’. The Cambrensis choir then sang ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ before the whole choir and orchestra did ‘O Holy Night’. I’m currently singing that song for an upcoming carol concert.

The Youth Choir then sang the song ‘The Gift’ with soloists Brooke Botwood, Nimco Osman and Honey Regan. The choir and the orchestra then sang ‘Jesus, God’s Righteousness Revealed’ before we as the audience joined to sing ‘Joy to the World’. There was a surprise song sung at the very end.

Just before the concert came to a close that afternoon, the Youth Choir sang ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ originally sung by Shakin’ Stevens. I recognised that song and even sang it during the concert’s closure. That song is included in a ‘Doctor Who’ video I shared on Christmas Day last year.

‘The Promise of Christmas’ concert was lovely to sit through and enjoy. I’m glad my parents had a good time and I enjoyed the afternoon myself. It was nice to hear and sing some Christmas songs and carols. The choirs and the orchestra were very good. I feel like I’m ready for Christmas time now!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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