Byfield choir tune up for landmark concert

Byfield's Lost Chord community choir will perform their 10th anniversary concert on December 19, 2015. Photo Submitted.
Byfield's Lost Chord community choir will perform their 10th anniversary concert on December 19, 2015. Photo Submitted.

Members of Byfield’s Lost Chord Singers community choir will perform their 10th annual Christmas Concert this month

From informal beginnings at the village’s Holy Cross Church, singing the first few seasonal songs members had learned, the event has become a traditional fixture in the Byfield social calendar.

Now, each year, a full house packs Byfield Village Hall to hear the choir’s latest additions to its repetoire before a guest act of professional folk musicians takes to the stage.

This year, for its landmark anniversary, the choir has invited back a previous pair of performers; mandolinist Simon Mayor and singer/guitarist Hilary James.

Ms James also plays a mandobass, which looks like a warped cello, and together they peform music from evocative Irish ballads to a mandolin rendition of Handel’s Arrival Of the Queen Of Sheba and their own comic songs.

Lost Chord Singers leader Pat Cannell said: “Simon and Hilary really connect with the audience, with a wide-ranging repertoire and an easy style. They are true professionals.”

The 38-strong choir, which is open to anyone who wants to join, has been rehearsing in the village hall on Monday evenings for this year’s Christmas performance.

Mrs Cannell said: “It’s always very good fun. It’s 90 per cent Byfield people, although we have one from Bloxham and another from Daventry, plus some from surrounding villages.”

The concert takes place on Saturday, December 19, at 7.30pm in Byfield Village Hall.

Byfield School PTA will run a raffle and bar and sell seasonal refreshments in aid of school funds.

Concert tickets are £10, available from Pat Cannell (01327 260483), Ann Caldwell (01327 260993) and Diana Charters (01327 260113).