I had the pleasure of an invite to see Amicantus at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday December 8.
The semi-professional choir, guided by the eyes and ears of Musical Director Maddy Evans, filled Shakespeare’s final resting place with festive tunes during their performance of ‘Songs for a Winter’s Eve’.
The choir – 10 women and eight men, all clad in purple and black (and a fair amount of Christmas sparkle – sang classic carols, such as Silent Night and my favourites, O Holy Night and Carol of the Bells, as well as reimagined modern hits like Jingle Bell Rock and Shakin’ Stevens’ Merry Christmas Everyone.
There were three designated carols for the audience to join in with, complete with lyrics and more than a few bum notes (sorry people around me). We were also treated to a few choral duets and solos, including a beautifully-performed but laugh-out-loud version of a song called Surabaya-Santa (it’s worth looking up). Add to that two poems by friend of the choir Gwen, plus a glass of wine and mince pie at the interval, and the festive spirit was truly in full swing.
Forget the inaugural Baileys hot chocolate of the season, or the first croaky lines of Fairytale of New York over the supermarket tannoy, hearing the glorious voices of Amicantus at Holy Trinity Church got my Christmas started this year. The joyful harmonies and palpable camaraderie of the choir make Amicantus a pure delight to watch. I hope to make it a Christmas tradition of the future.
To find out more about Amicantus and future performances, pop over to the choir’s Facebook page or listen on SoundCloud.
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Information correct at date of publication