Singing Christmas at St Michael's
December 2014: This year's Sing Christmas! concert was held on 20 December in the wonderful setting of St Michael's church in Highgate. It had been a few years since the choir last performed there, and the venue more than lived up to the singers' memories.
Starting off in traditional fashion with Once in Royal David's City, the well-attended concert was an informal mixture of audience-participation carols such as Oh Come, All Ye Faithful and beautiful choral works such as John Tavener's The Lamb and Morten Lauridsen's Ave Maria. The concert also saw the first performance of the rousing Chanticleer by Richard James Harvey, winner of the inaugural Crouch End Festival Chorus carol competition.
There was a strong turnout from families with young children, who enjoyed the upbeat secular numbers Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Walking in a Winter Wonderland. Conductor David Temple even invited the little ones up to the front to join in with Jingle Bells by shaking sleigh bells.
As well as providing top-notch festive entertainment for the north London audience, the annual Sing Christmas! concert always raises money for charity, and this year's good cause was The Brain Tumour Charity. Peter Selley (the husband of CEFC alto Juliet) gave a powerful speech, full of self-deprecating humour, about his own experiences of living with a brain tumour, and the audience dug deep for the charity collection as a result. On the night, the amazing whip-round brought in over £2,000 for brain tumour research and patient support - but that wasn't all. Thanks to additional donations and the choir's 6 December carol-singing day in the streets of Crouch End, the fundraising total eventually reached a hefty £2,511.55.