The Christmas feelings for me begin with the bells of the sleigh and the noise of the hooves in Leroy’s music. Played each year by the Berkshire Maestros at the Loddon Schools Carol concert, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride stirs the heart and memories of Christmas. The Mayor’s turning on the lights in Wokingham is the traditional start of the Christmas activities, but the seasonal music at Loddon quickens the tempo and brings forward the joy of another Christmas.
This year the primary school choirs were in great voice. We heard tellingly there was no room at the Inn. The news was “told out” strongly by hundreds of young voices. Santa Claus came to town to the sound of much announcement. The swinging shepherd had his blues moment, alongside the more traditional strains of Silent Night. Many of the children’s voices were passionate and up for the challenge of singing to a large audience of parents and wellwishers.
Berkshire Maestros put on a very polished performance, though the christmas count of flashing lights and tinsel on instruments seemed down a little on past years. The soloists asked to pick out tunes did so with humour and aplomb. The trumpets sounded, the violins provided the continuity and the percussion thundered to tell us the stories.
As always the friendly enouraging presence of James Baker brought out the best in the singers and the instrumentalists. I just want to say thank you to all involved. Christmas would not be the same without the Loddon event. I feel the season has started.