The fourth annual Radio City Cash for Kids Christmas Concert at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral went fantastically. Nicole Barber from Higher Bebington Junior School started proceedings magnificently with her solo on the first verse of Once In Royal.
Creative Community Choir followed on under the direction of James Sills, with an excellent set, starting with ‘The Sweetest Kick In The Heart’ by Stephen Taberner, leader of The Spooky Men. This was a haunting leftfield arrangement. They followed on with an excellent rendition of ‘The Seven Joys Of Mary’.
Jess Hawe sang beautifully on the first verse solo of the congregational carol ‘O Little Town Of Bethlehem’ before Birkenhead High School Academy were the second choir to appear, led by Chris Watson, Jeanette Boyhan and myself. They performed a heartfelt version of Silent Night, with a stunning solo from Kelly Nsetubu, followed by a medley of the Home Alone classics, Carol Of The Bells & Somewhere In My Memory. Helen Corlett sang an excellent solo in the latter. The choir was beautifully accompanied by the school’s string section, along with my sister, Amy Chalmers on violin and Izzy Owen on guitar. We were incredibly proud of all the girls involved, they certainly stepped up and they represented the school very well.
A small selection of Sense of Sound Singers then performed ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’, in which I sang the solo, and then River by Joni Mitchell, in which Kaya Herstad-Carney sang the solo. Both songs were really exposed a cappella versions of the songs, and it was real pleasure to sing with this small group of great singers.
MiC Lowry then performed ‘This Christmas’ by Donny Hathaway and the classic ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’. Both these were fabulous and they showed themselves to be top class and certainly the ones to watch in 2013. They proved very popular, and were deluged with new fans in the interval, which followed soon after their performance. Kaboodle performed a reprise of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas before the first half drew to a close.
Higher Bebington Junior School Choir, directed by Mrs Lammin, Mrs Tinkler and Miss Hinton, opened the second half with a lovely performance of O Holy Night and followed this up with a steamrolling version of ‘Wonder’ by Naughty Boy featuring Emeli Sande with fantastic singing and dancing. They finished their performance with ‘Rocking Around The Christmas Tree’. Their set was accompanied by piano, strings from Amy Chalmers and Eliza Carew and cajon played by James Sills. Higher Bebington Junior School Choir have performed in all four Radio City Christmas Concerts at the Anglican, and they are always a real highlight.
Kaboodle Community Choir, under the musical direction of Chris Watson and Jeanette Boyhan, followed on with a beautiful rendition of Coventry Carol, which resonated beautifully around the cathedral. They also sang the Vaughan Williams composition, ‘The Truth From Above’. Both songs were excellent and provided a real contrast to the other choirs. This was Kaboodle’s first appearance at the annual event, and they made a great impression, singing a cappella throughout both these numbers.
Indigo Vibe were the last choir to perform, and they sang ‘White Christmas’, a Norwegian Christmas carol called ‘Det Lyser I Stille Grender’, and ‘Let It Snow’. All three of their songs were a cappella and again, this was a real contrast to the other choirs. Their set was well put together and their set was very varied. Indigo Vibe were the third community choir of the night, and I hope that some of the audience were inspired by how professional the community choirs sounded. For information on how to join these choirs, download the programme from the night below.
The Valentine Brothers followed on with a performance of ‘Winter Wonderland’, with just three voices and guitar, and they then moved on to perform ‘Christ Alone’ along with Ian Davidson on piano. The Valentine Brothers went down very well with the audience, and just like MiC Lowry, they certainly gained a number of fans that night! The boys are excellent, and again, are ones to watch in the new year.
Claudia Freemantle performed ‘Last Christmas’ beautifully, singing alone with the piano and strings, as all the choirs gathered together on the stage ready for the finale. Claudia is only a year 7 and yet she was so brave and confident when singing, and her distinctive style certainly made an impression on the audience.
To finish the evening off, all the choirs sang ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ together, which was a fitting way to end the concert. It was euphoric and it was awesome to see all six choirs come together and sing as one. To see an amateur video of this, click below.
The whole night was a great success and it was one of those special nights that I will never forget. There are many people that deserve thanks for their contributions, not least the fabulous choirs and their wonderful directors and the two boybands who were both outstanding. The amazing musicians really added a touch of class to the night, the people from both the cathedral and the charity were all brilliant, and Jess Hawe deserves a special mention for organising everything on the fly throughout the concert! Also, Claire Simonsen from Radio City was an excellent host throughout the event.
For further information on all the acts, see the programme below to find out about their social media and contact details.