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Let the sounds of Christmas put you in festive mood

Is there any better way to feel the holiday spirit than the sound of Christmas carols? The Orphean Singers, a Paphos choir, are holding their annual festive concert once again, on December 14 to pump up anyone who may not be feeling the Christmas atmosphere yet.

This year the concert takes on a slightly different format than usual, in that the first half will consist solely of carols written and arranged by John Rutter.

“Rutter is one of the most prolific composers of modern times, writing both sacred and secular music, much of it providing for orchestral accompaniment and as well as the usual organ or piano,” said Anita E Dye from the choir group.

His setting of Psalm 150 was commissioned for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, and he wrote a new work ‘This is the day’ for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. “However, it is his collection of Christmas carols that has endeared him to choirs and music lovers everywhere, winning him the accolade of being one of the most celebrated and successful composers of carols of our time,” added Anita.

The carols being sung on the evening are seven of the sweetest of Rutter’s compositions. They will probably be familiar to many, with the exception of a newer carol ‘All the Bells in Paradise’, too often omitted from repertoires.

After the interval (and a drink at the bar) the programme will continue in the normal traditional style, including all the favourites that many of the audience will have known since childhood, and will be able to join the choir in singing them. There are a couple of exceptions, with ‘Tsaba, Tsaba’ (Watch out! Watch out!) – a lively carol from Botswana, ‘The warmth of Christmas’ from Puerto Rico, and ‘A Maiden most Gentle’ being a French traditional song, that will be new to the audience. The rousing Christmas songs include ‘Mistletoe and Wine’, which was a Christmas hit for Sir Cliff Richard a few years ago, Irving Berlin’s ‘Happy Holiday/White Christmas’ and Mel Torme’s ‘The Christmas Song’.

The evening promises an unbridled feel-good factor, with a little bit of nostalgia, as everyone thinks back to bygone celebrations. The usual Giant Raffle will again be held, letting someone win themselves an even more celebratory Christmas. The proceeds of this, together with the evening’s profits, will be given to two local charities, The Friends Hospice for their palliative care, and Caritas, which helps refugees fleeing from war-torn homelands. What better examples of the true meaning of Christmas?

The Orphean Singers Carols for Christmas
Choir concert by the Orphean Singers, conducted by Yiannis Hadjiloizou. December 14. Theatre ENA, Emba, Paphos. 7.30pm €12. Tel: 99-786577

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