On Saturday, 10 December 2011, the Solent Fellowship Band (Bandmaster John Bird) returned to the Hayling Island Community Centre to share an annual concert of Christmas music with the Hayling Island Choir (Musical Director David Cain). This year, the concert also featured special guests, the Mill Rythe Junior School Choir (Director Bernie Marshall).
The Hayling Island Choir got things started with three Christmas songs: Ding Dong! Merrily on High (arr. David Willcocks), Mary Had a Baby (arr. Malcolm Sargent) and Deck the Hall (arr. David Willcocks). The band followed with two items, including Christmas Praise (Noel Jones) and Pachelbel’s Noel (Johann Pachelbel, arr. Simon Kerwin).
The Mill Rythe Junior School Choir then presented three songs: Sing a Song of Christmas Cheer, The Christmas Song and Winter Wonderland.
Following the band’s presentation of Yuletide Rag (Richard Phillips) and The Trumpet Shall Sound (George Frederick Handel), musical director David Cain conducted the Hayling Island Choir in the final item of the first half, What Sweeter Music (John Rutter).
After a short interval, the Hayling Island Choir presented a check for £200 towards musical development at Mill Rythe School before the host choir presented three seasonal songs.
Further band items included Troika (Sergei Prokofiev, arr. Alan Fernie), Carolcade (Trevor Davis), The Manger Scene (Leslie Condon, trans. Andrew Blythe) and Praise Party! (Steven Ponsford). The Hayling Island Choir also sang Cradle Song (arr. John Rutter) and Bethlehem (Claude-Michel Schönburg, arr. Roderick R. Starr).
The evening concluded with the choir singing Arthur Warrell’s arrangement of A Merry Christmas before Bandmaster Bird conducted the band in a foot-tapping rendition of Jingle Bells.
Original report submitted by Tony Unwin, Press Officer, Solent Fellowship Band