Four young people took time out from their busy concert schedules to accompany the choir and congregation at Christ Church Stocksbridge in an evening of local carols on Sunday 9th December. Thomas Hetherington, a member at Christ Church, and three of his friends, Amy Kent, Lizzie Heyes and Eleanor Mitchell, who are at different schools across Sheffield, all play music together at the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra. The quality of their playing, and the wonderfully strong string sound they made fitted perfectly with the carols.
At Christ Church they accompanied the choir, conducted by Frank Hardman, the organist, Mark Rotchell, and the congregation in carols with the traditional local tunes that are so celebrated in this part of Yorkshire.
Because the choir couldn’t choose which one of six local and favourite tunes to use to sing the old carol “While shepherds watched their flocks by night”, they asked former music teacher Brenda Milnes to orchestrate a six-tune mash-up, with one verse sung from each tune. This world ‘first’ went brilliantly and the orchestration between each verse got everyone ready for the next tune.
Over the coffee and mince pies afterwards people remarked on the quality of the performances, and looked forward to the other Christmas specials planned at Christ Church.