Somerset Choral Society starts our 2018-19 season at 7:30pm on Saturday 24th November in St Mary’s Church, Wedmore with a wonderfully atmospheric celebration of Advent. St Mary’s Church will be candlelit and, as well as the music, there will be a selection of seasonal readings from the works of John Betjeman, Dylan Thomas and William Connor.
The significance of candle light is more complex than just theatricals. For the ancient Church, the root of Advent actually looked primarily towards the Second Coming and the end of time – not towards the coming of the birth in Bethlehem. For the early Christians this was a state to be desired, even longed for. In the present day, with our furthered knowledge and greater commercialised culture, the expectancy of the coming birth and that of Judgement are shared. Nevertheless, it is important to understand pieces like “Adam Lay y’ Bounden” in such light. Along with these and some other truly atmospheric pieces, Bob Chilcott’s “On Christmas Night” forms the core of the programme. The cycle foretells of the Christmas story, and entwines some familiar tunes throughout the movements.
The programme also includes other seasonal favourites too: Harold Darke’s wonderful arrangement of “In The Bleak Midwinter” and “The Three Kings” by Peter Cornelius, together with works by Edgar Pettman and a rousing arrangement of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by David Willcocks.
This concert will be conducted by our Musical Director Ed Goater and accompanied on organ by Matthew Redman but will feature our choir members who will perform all the music and present all the readings. Oh, and there’ll be mince pies and mulled wine afterwards, so come and soak up the atmosphere, the aroma and enjoy the music !