Collyer's students bring Christmas cheer
St Mary's Church was filled with festive joy when talented students from Collyer's performed in their Christmas Concert.
The church, in the Causeway, Horsham, was packed for an evening of music and readings by students and staff on Thursday (December 7).Canon Guy Bridgewater, who is a governor at Collyer's, got things under way with a welcome and a prayer before the church resounded with rousing performances of Joy To The World and Ding Dong Merrily On High.The first reading Luke 1-7, the birth of Jesus - came from Megan Chalmers, with others from Angus Sheldon - Luke 2: 8-20, the shepherds and angels - and Becca Inglis-Taylor - Mathew 2: 1-12, visitors from the east.There was plenty of music, with the congregation enjoying a piano solo from Vila Zhang, who played Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu. Israel Harding, Bessie Griffiths, Amelia Smith and Caitlin Lyster performed the beautiful Seal Lullaby, while harpist Jacqueline Lo impressed with her performance of Variations Sur un Theme dans le Style Ancien, by Carlos Salzedo. Carols and Christmas songs abounded, with Deck the Halls, Silent Night and We Three Kings as well as White Christmas and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.Among the choir were Nick Hoad (bass), Caitlin Lyster, Bessie Griffiths, Amelia Smith, Becca Inglis-Taylor, Pauline Wang, Sophie Ansell, Ingrid Tiba, Izzy Baines and Cherry Lam (sopranos), Heather Vinall, Rachel Parnell, Catherine Overend, Jazmin Demjan, Isabel Harris and Lydia McCleery (altos), Israel Harding, Sulaimaan Azoor, Morton Woodburn and Alexander Newton (tenors). There was praise for Dan Page (head of music), Stephen Brundish (head of extra-curricular music), Marcus Bell (performing arts technician), and technical support students James Stanton, Will Stewart, Danni Hemsley, Aiden Shaw, Joe Graham, James Monk and Charlie Stephenson-Coggan. While Linda MacLeman, Hannah Roberts and the RCU - Collyer’s student council - worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event possible. As the evening drew to a close, Collyer’s principal Sally Bromley gave a reading of John Betjeman’s Christmas.Mrs Bromley said: “I was immensely proud of the students’ performances. We are so lucky to have such talented young people at Collyer’s."The Christmas concert is a Collyer’s tradition not to be missed, so huge thanks to Canon Guy Bridgewater, governor at Collyer’s, for allowing us to hold it at St Mary’s again this year.”Deputy principal Steve Nicholls added: "Simply brilliant! I’ve enjoyed these concerts since the mid-1980s and this was certainly up there with the best. "These gifted performers have produced another superb Collyer’s concert. ‘Tis the season to be Colly!”