On Saturday 3 January Romsey Abbey Choir began the New Year in fine style with a Epiphany Supper in the church rooms to raise funds for its singing visit to Belgium in May. Some eighty guests tucked into a hearty stew, followed by a choice of desserts and coffee, all prepared and served by Choir wives and mums.
After the raffle, organised by Sam Martin and Chris Riley, choristers entertained the audience with several musical numbers. They began with a potted history of classical music in about five minutes. Head Chorister Finlay Martin’s rendition of The Snowman was followed by probationer Joseph Yandell, dressed as a sweep for Chim Chimeree; Julian Orchard, with a somewhat youthful account of When I’m 64; and Simon Grant playing a jazz piano arrangement of Away in a Manger.
After poetry readings by Bob Smith and Adrienne Mordan, Choir mums Anne Williams and Louise Newman took to the stage with a humorous Victoria Wood sketch set at a supermarket checkout. Finally, Rob Gower led the audience through some popular carols, concluding with a rousing performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas, rewritten for the occasion.
Robert Fielding, Organist and Master of the Choristers, commented afterwards, ‘We value the support from the congregation and clergy at the Abbey, and this is a good way of thanking them for it. I’m especially pleased that a number of the boys came forward to sing solos. They were all up early the next morning to sing for the Abbey’s Epiphany Gift Service’.
Choristers canter through the history of music in five minutes
Anne and Louise at the supermarket check-out