Review: Advent Carol Service

Category: Music

An exquisite Service heralded the advent of two important things: firstly the conventional message, in which begins one of the most beautiful seasons in the Christian year (which was perfectly captured in this annual Advent Carol Service in Chapel), and the second which was the dawn of a new era for the choir under the direction of recently appointed Choirmaster Adam Staines. Both messages were extremely effective and persuasively conveyed.

It could be argued that the Chapel never looks better than the moment when hundreds of handheld candles are lit and that magical atmosphere of darkness to light is so perfectly and visibly portrayed. If you add music to that experience it can at times be overwhelming. The choir were on terrific form, and there were many highlights:  O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen was particularly special, with Mr Staines coaxing a beautiful velvety sound from within the ranks, and the opening of the service (sung from the Narthex) of Staines' own version of Unto Us A Child Is Born was a gem.

On this display there is much to look forward to in times ahead both for the choir and Mr Staines, and for us all as we head towards the Christmas celebrations and all the tidings of joy that season brings.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director

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