Here is the fabulous review from the sell-out Christmas concert on 8th December 2013, written by Janet Anderson:
The Garleton Singers’ annual Christmas Concert in St. Mary’s, Haddington, has
become a musical milestone as we in East Lothian tread the Advent trail to
Christmas, and so it was this year with Sunday’s wonderful celebration of
Christmas, carols old and new, something for everyone.
The Choir, and its Conductor Stephen Doughty, set the scene with a lovely
warm, round sound in the opening “O come, O come, Emmanuel”, for the
highlights to follow “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”, an unaccompanied piece by
Philip Stopford, where the sound was beautifully sweet, sustained and even,
and the melody sang out clearly above the accompanying voices; two Poulenc
pieces, on the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death, the first “Hodie
Christus natus est”, a suitably joyful, energetic, rhythmical rendition, the
second “Quem vidistis pastores” with its increasingly insistent theme, both
performances successfully capturing the mood of the music; a delightful
arrangement by Ian Humphries of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, complex in
texture but very neatly executed, where lovely solo voices were given the
opportunity to shine.
Mention must be made of Polwarth Brass whose mellow sound melts hearts,
their silky “In the bleak mid-winter”, and dreamy “Have yourself a merry little
Christmas”, and also of organist George Wilson’s excellent playing, sensitive,
deft accompanying, and in his impromptu improvisation on “O come, O come,
Emmanuel”, St. Mary’s organ as you’ve never heard it before!
Andrew Carter’s “Hodie Christus natus est” for choir, brass and organ was a
glittering finale for choir, musicians and Conductor, all in sparkling form.