Salvation Army Carol Concert (2023)

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Off into town this evening to enjoy this year’s Salvation Army Carol Concert at the Salvation Army Citadel. Jo, Janet & Helen together with David & Valerie were there, as usual, and we also saw Derek & Lydia.

Major Nigel in top form!

We’ve been coming to these for quite a few years now as it represents another ‘sign’ that Christmas is getting close. Tonight was well-supported in terms of numbers, and it all felt like a ‘return to form’ compared to recent years. In 2022, we went to the Saturday performance, where attendance was down on previous years and Nigel had to work harder than usual, to engage the audience. Tonight, it all flowed really well! πŸ˜ƒ

With Nigel leading the evening, his semi-humorous approach was well-appreciated by us, the audience. The synchronisation of the Carols with the on-screen words was the best I remember, and the supporting images looked even more professional than previous presentations.

The format of the ninety-minute event was pretty similar to years gone by: Carols sung by the adults & children of the Citadel – the Songsters; carols sung by us, the audience; and of course, the obligatory nativity scene (complete with slightly wayward shepherds and an excitable angel!). Great stuff, all helped by the Salvation Army Band who were even more impressive (to our ears, anyway) this year – a very full-on sound with some innovative reworkings of some familiar Christmas tunes! πŸ‘πŸ‘. Also, a first for tonight, was a re-telling of the ‘journey to visit the baby, Jesus’ based on a modern couple’s car journey – clever! πŸ™‚

So far, we’d had ‘the familiar’ and ‘the new’. We also had the pleasure of seeing and hearing Ella Clark again, who’d appeared for the first time, last year. Clearly, a gifted youngster with her superb voice and confident delivery.

It’s been a difficult year financially, for many local families, and the Citadel has helped with even more food parcels this year. A local even made 200 Christmas Stockings for distribution with the parcels. Talking of generosity, tonight’s donations, when added to the previous performance, totalled over Β£1000 – and that’s quite an improvement over last year.

All-in-all then, a thoroughly enjoyable evening with all the ingredients that we’ve got to know and love over the years.

It’s official – we ARE now in full Christmas mode!

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