from the Wokingham Times, December 2005
THIS year Wokingham Choral had a thread of hymns in honour of Mary running through their Christmas concert.
There was A Maiden So Gentle in a pretty tripping arrangement be Andrew Carter, a hymn of Michael Praetorius' which compared Mary to a rose in winter, and an Ave Maria by Rachmaninov - which the choir sang in church Slavonic.
It was very sad to hear of that Denny Lyster, the Society's accompanist for the last ten years, has died. He will be sadly missed. His place was taken by Christopher Cromar.
The solo performance of Bach's Advent meditation was solemn and reflective, contrasting strikingly with the joyous Von Himmel Hof.
Ann Haycocks directed the choir of Keep Hatch Primary in their four challenging Christmas songs. The children were totally focused on their singing; you could hear every word, they were bright and confident and not put out by tricky harmonies and rhythms. They were clearly enjoying themselves and their performance was delightful.
As always, the society's singing was well-rehearsed and polished.
If I had to pick a favourite from the programme I think it would be the Rachmaninov. It was a beautiful, smooth legato, rising and falling to a perfect quiet end. It was dedicated to Denny Lyster and a worthy tribute to his memory.