Sat 2 Dec Concert: Songways Choir and Jennifer Crook
St Swithin’s Church, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LY
Our Christmas concert this year was a very special evening in the beautiful setting and acoustics of St Swithin’s Church. Ninety singers from the combined Songways choirs sang a wonderful set of festive carols, celebratory songs, and songs of peace. The programme included: the lively Rise up Shepherd from the African American tradition; the delightful dance-like French carol, Il et ne le Divin Enfant; vibrant South African church choruses; the deeply resonant Russian Orthodox Gospodi; an uplifting Hallelujah from Californian duo, MaMuse (with Songways singer Giles Coker on the banjo); and new songs written by Ali Burns from Scotland and Songways Director, Jane Harris.
We were joined for our final three songs by the fine singer-songwriter, harpist and guitar player, Jennifer Crook, with Jane playing the fiddle. The Northumbrian lullaby, Bonny at morn, and Jane’s song, In the peace I will meet you there were beautiful with the harp, and our final song with fiddle and guitar, Chariots, was full of joy. To complement the singing, several Songways members read beautiful seasonal poems and readings.
After the interval and festive refreshments, Jennifer captivated us all with a set of her own original songs, and joined Jane and Julia Williams for a final a capella trio. The whole evening was enjoyed by a large and appreciative audience.
An absolute delight… the choir sounded magnificent
A wonderful variety of songs from different traditions
Jennifer Crook is a much-loved feature of Britain’s folk and acoustic scene. With collaborations that encompass Boo Hewerdine, Eddi Reader and Snow Patrol, she has released a string of intelligent, finely-crafted albums, attracting plaudits from Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2 and the folk press. Heartfelt and authentic, Jennifer’s highly skilled musicianship and naturally beautiful singing voice make a captivating live performance.