Anniversary Christmas concert at Rugby’s parish church

Peter Richard, Angela Donnelly, Joanna Grindle, Kate Foster,  Marion Pogson, Rachel Cliffe with Huw Gibson.
Peter Richard, Angela Donnelly, Joanna Grindle, Kate Foster, Marion Pogson, Rachel Cliffe with Huw Gibson.

A special musical celebration is taking place at St Andrew’s Church in Rugby next Saturday (December 9).

Manchester Carols involves a small chamber orchestra consisting of amateurs, pupils from two local primary schools and a number of singers from the Rugby area.

The schools taking part are Dunchurch Junior and English Martyrs Catholic School.

Angela Donnelly, leader of Chamber group, said: “Pupils involved have already been rehearsing during the term which is done by the relevant music teacher.

“As it is about the Christmas story, all performers wear different Christmas headgear with the orchestra in Christmas jumpers.”

Manchester Carols was composed in 2007 by Sasha Johnson Manning and Carol Ann Duffy.

“It is a beautiful set of pieces supporting the Christmas Story,” added Angela.

“Laura Robinson and Andy Cope, who are the musical directors, no longer live in Rugby but take the time to come back in order to organise this delightful musical event.”

This piece was first performed on December 15, 2007, at the Royal Northern College of Music by the Northern Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Tanner who was Laura’s recorder teacher and is currently director of music at Rugby School.

Laura was invited to play the second recorder part in the recording of the CD of The Manchester Carols for Naxos in 2007,” added Angela.

“This was recorded by the Northern Chamber Orchestra and The Manchester Carollers conducted by Richard Tanner in St. Thomas’ Church, Stockport.

“It has been performed annually around the Manchester area in collaboration with various schools as a concert performance and also in a religious context in various churches in Lancashire and also for the last five years in St Andrew’s, Rugby.”

This year is the tenth anniversary of the first performance and the composer, Sasha Johnson Manning, will be taking part in the performance at St Andrew’s Church.

Angela said: “This is very exciting as it brings together the composer and over 100 Rugby locals together for the first time.”

The tickets cost £6 adults and £1 children.