What better way to beat those January blues than with a bit of Christmas jollity? Just a few weeks after we’d finished opening our presents and eating our turkey, we were back in one of our old haunts – St Augustine’s Church, Penarth – to record our second CD; a fun, varied selection of Christmas music from all over the world.
The temperatures in the church were certainly seasonal enough, and gloves, scarves and flasks of hot coffee were order of the day over the two recording sessions on Friday evening and Saturday. Thankfully, the cold failed to quell choristers’ enthusiasm for the task, with several people bringing along Santa hats and Christmas jumpers in a bid to recapture that Christmas spirit.
Listening to Take One in the recording booth
The CD will include arrangements by Huw and our former music director, Rob Court, who did a fine job of accompanying us on St Augustine’s wonderful William Hill organ. Amongst the popular carols on the disc will be “O come all ye Faithful”, “Once in Royal David’s City”, “Jingle Bells” and “Away in a Manger”. Music from Welsh composers Sir Henry Walford Davies and William Mathias will also feature, together with contemporary works by John Tavener, Benjamin Britten and Eric Whitacre.
Solos were taken by members of the choir, who all turned in fine performances – notably Becky Donkin with her impeccable Spanish in Andrew Carter’s Spanish Carol, and Helen Pugsley’s lovely opening verse of “Once in Royal David’s City.” Helen and Tabitha Rodway also delivered some incredibly high notes in Huw’s arrangement of “Away in the Manger”, so listen out for those!
The CD is being produced by Gary Cole and Andy Gammon at Regent Records – both of whom are highly experienced musicians in their own right. It will be available later this year from all major outlets, including Amazon.
The Regent Records team in action
Watch this space for news of the release date – we can’t wait!