Singing in the round

The swirling notes of 150 voices filled the Priory church as five local choirs gave voice to a celebration of Christmas on 20th December 2008.


An audience of about 300 people packed the Priory church to hear the soaring sound of five local community choirs sing a varied selection of unaccompanied carols, Gregorian chant and other seasonal music.
The choirs, who perform regularly together under the banner of Singing in the Round, are based in Bath, Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge.

The performance, directed by Candy Verney and Jane Harris, began with massed voices in the chancel, intoning harmonics around a single note. Then, they broke into Creator of the stars at night.

After moving to the raised area beneath the tower, the choirs invited the audience to join with them in The Holly and the Ivy; then, as the evening progressed, each of the choirs sang a number from their own repertoire. Coming together again, the voices seemed to evoke the sounds of a Northern brass band with their rendering of Rolling downwards, a song from Hathersage in the Peak District.

There was another chance for the audience to join in as the choirs moved around the aisles for the round Nowell nowell, before re-grouping under the tower for the Arabian lullaby Dobrunoc. The evening ended, appropriately enough, with the 1950s Gospel number Let's Go – but not before the prolonged applause had produced another Gospel song, Lily of the Valley, as an encore!

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