Collyer’s Christmas cracker at St Mary’s Parish Church

December 28, 2017

Canon Guy Bridgewater and St Mary’s Parish Church, on the Causeway in Horsham, hosted the Collyer’s annual Christmas Concert. The packed congregation enjoyed a wonderful evening of festive music and readings by students and staff.

The evening began with Canon Guy Bridgewater’s welcome and prayer, followed by rousing performances of ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’.

After a reading by Megan Chalmers (Luke: 1-7 – The Birth of Jesus), the congregation also enjoyed a piano solo of Chopin’s ‘Fantaisie – Impromptu’ by Vila Zhang and sang ‘Deck the Halls’. Angus Sheldon then read The Shepherds and Angels (Luke 2: 8-20) and the choir, headed by Israel Harding, performed ‘White Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’.   

The congregation then joined in for ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’’ and were treated to a reading by Becca Inglis-Taylor (Mathew 2: 1-12 – Visitors from the East).  

The Vocal Quartet, comprising Israel Harding, Bessie Griffiths, Amelia Smith and Caitlin Lyster performed ‘Seal Lullaby’, followed by Harpist Jacqueline Lo’s ‘Variations sur un theme dans le style ancien’.

As the evening drew to a close, Collyer’s Principal Sally Bromley gave a reading of John Betjeman’s ‘Christmas’; the congregation were then invited to sing ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’. The Blessing was then read by Canon Guy Bridgewater, a governor at Collyer’s.  

Collyer’s Principal, Sally Bromley said: “I was immensely proud of the students’ performances. We are so lucky to have such talented young people at Collyer’s! The Christmas concert is a Collyer’s tradition not to be missed, so huge thanks to Canon Guy Bridgewater, governor at Collyer’s, for allowing us to hold it at St Mary’s again this year.”

The Collyer’s choir, who performed wonderfully, featured Bass: Nick Hoad; Sopranos: Caitlin Lyster, Bessie Griffiths, Amelia Smith, Becca Inglis-Taylor, Pauline Wang; Sophie Ansell, Ingrid Tiba, Izzy Baines and Cherry Lam. Altos comprised Heather Vinall, Rachel Parnell, Catherine Overend; Jazmin Demjan, Isabel Harris and Lydia McCleery. Tenors were: Israel Harding, Sulaimaan Azoor, Morton Woodburn and Alexander Newton.   

Other stars on the night included Head of Music, Dan Page, Head of Extra-Curricular Music Stephen Brundish, and Performing Arts Technician Marcus Bell. Technical Support students were James Stanton, Will Stewart, Danni Hemsley, Aiden Shaw; Joe Graham, James Monk and Charlie Stephenson-Coggan.

Collyer’s Linda MacLeman, Hannah Roberts and the RCU (Collyer’s student council) also worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event possible.

Deputy Principal, Steve Nicholls was thrilled: “Simply brilliant! I’ve enjoyed these concerts since the mid-1980’s and this was certainly up there with the best. These gifted performers have produced another superb Collyer’s concert. ‘Tis the season to be Colly!”