Weymouth Choral Society’s annual festive treat was performed in the beautiful but cold setting of St John’s Church.

However, the audience soon warmed to a programme of delightful arrangements of seasonal melodies by Weymouth Concert Brass, excellent performances from the young singers of the Dorchester Area Schools Partnership, and of course, traditional congregational carols.

Under the skilful baton of Helen Brind, the choir was in fine voice singing pleasing harmonies with good control, clear diction and often a cappella. Organist David Bruce-Payne and pianist Louise Dukes provided dexterous and sensitive accompaniment. The evening started with the first congregational carol, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, followed by three carols sung by the choir, giving opportunity for individual solos.

Weymouth Concert Brass, under the baton of Kevin Goodwin, kicked off with Leroy Anderson’s ‘A Christmas Festival’, an enchanting arrangement of eight carols with a ring of jingling bells. ‘Sneewaltzer’ arranged by Goff Richards, was the perfect excuse to warm up as audience, choir and band broke into sway. They performed a lively festive opening to the second half of the programme with Kevin Goodwin’s own composition ‘A Christmas Fanfare’. This was followed by the choir’s performance of David Bruce-Payne’s ‘Christmas Season’. His composition is now a firm favourite for the Christmas repertoire. More opportunity to warm up came along with the chance to clap along to the band’s rendition of Jona Lewie’s ‘Stop the Cavalry’ - much-needed after their delightful highlights from Disney’s ‘Frozen’!

The Choral Society charmed us with their resounding harmonies and ‘The Boar’s Head Carol’ received particularly warm applause. However the night belonged to the two young soloists William Bishop and Toby Lyndley. William sang ‘O Holy Night’ with gentle support from the choir and Toby sang Howard Blake’s ever-popular ‘Walking in the Air’.

Thank you Weymouth Choral Society and Weymouth Concert Brass for such an accomplished and convivial festive offering.