Rejoice, A Christmas Celebration

Birmingham Citadel's annual Symphony Hall Carol Concert, Rejoice, a Christmas Celebration 2006, was held on 10 December 2006, with two performances drawing a combined audience of over 2,500. Members of all of the Corps music sections, both junior and senior, participated in the concert, along with some special guests. More than £4,500 was raised to support the work of the Salvation Army in the Birmingham area.

The concert commenced with Merry Christmas (Norman Bearcroft), presented by all of the sections en masse. This was followed by a timbrel drill, featuring illuminated timbrels, to the familiar Troika (Sergei Prokofiev).

Author Gervase Phinn was the first of the special guests. Drawing on his experience as a teacher and school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales, he captivated the audience with his anecdotes and expressions. He was followed by the primary (two to six-year-olds) presenting a Nativity scene (which unfortunately featured one rather excited shepherd striking the baby Jesus with his crook!). The junior sections performed well, the Singing Company presenting songs from A Muppet Christmas Carol and the Young People's Band premiering The King of Joy, written especially for the occasion by their leader, Mark Sharman.

The second guest was vocal soloist Mark Norwood of the Bromley Corps. He presented several songs in a strong baritone voice, including O Holy Night and the contemporary favorite The Christmas Song. The Birmingham Citadel Songsters performed Great Is Our Joy (from David Clydesdale's musical The Song of Christmas) and Unto Us Is Born (Cindy Berry). The concert concluded with the Birmingham Citadel Band's rendition of the carol medley A Great and Mighty Wonder (Kenneth Downie).

Birmingham Citadel web site, original report by Keith and Glenis Watts