Christmas concert review

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.