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The Phil's Christmas Cracker in Review.

Jubilee Hall 15 December 2012

People round about me were saying "we wouldn't miss this concert for all the tea in China" and this statement was quickly followed up by another comment - "when I think about it YPC concerts are always happy occasions!” This regular choir supporter was quite right because once again it was a joyous start to the Christmas season.

The ensemble singing was excellent, but special mention must be made of the clear bell-like tone of the sopranos which was just as good at 10pm as it was at 7.30pm - cutting through a particularly dead acoustic brought about by an over-subscribed ‘full house’.

There was plenty of community singing of course but the ‘Phil excelled in the more technical pieces they performed such as 'Wassail', and 'Spotless Rose', and the syncopation in ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas - Cha Cha Cha’ was a delight.

Adding an extra dimension to the evening, there were items from members of the very talented regular brass quintet who also accompanied many of the audience carols. The junior choir from Wakefield Girls’ High School stole the hearts of the audience with their contributions which were superb, full of musicality and fun, and delivered with a freshness and sparkle. Their conductor Rachel White’s own enthusiasm and obvious love of what she is doing transmitted itself wonderfully to the girls who responded wholeheartedly.

Praise was heaped on the choir’s regular accompanist Tom Moore who was the most overworked of all the performers, but he had the last laugh accompanying ‘The Charleston Carol’ when he found a registration on the organ which was reminiscent of the mighty Wurlitzer at Blackpool Winter Gardens Ballroom!

Maestro Andrew Padmore held the whole programme together with his informative introductions to the groups of carols and he is to be congratulated once again on producing on producing such a varied programme.

As the choirs, brass group and organ joined forces in a final rendition of Rutter’s Star Carol it reminded me that my near neighbour’s comment was correct – ‘we couldn’t possibly miss this concert, because it is a very happy occasion’ and sets us firmly on the track towards a Happy Christmas.


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