If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, could well be the motto for the annual University of Plymouth Choral Society Christmas Concert.
But if the proof of this particular festive pudding is in the eating, then this year’s event certainly confirmed just how thoroughly enjoyable these well-tried ingredients have become.
The 140-strong singers, under inspirational conductor Simon Ible, gave their absolute all, and were most effective overall in two of the evening’s highlights, Saint-Saens’s Christmas Oratorio – a rarely-heard, but charmingly innovative work – and Schubert’s Mass in C.
Jaemus Downing’s very-effective setting of Most Highly Favoured Lady, aided by soprano Morag Thomson Findlay’s pure delivery and vocal clarity, proved another welcome inclusion.
The Sinfonia, lead with great assurance by Mary Eade, together with organist Mary Mazur-Park, provided excellent support throughout, and were heard to good effect in Boyce’s Symphony No 5..
Mezzo-soprano Sarah Pring and soprano Jennifer France were particularly accomplished soloists, and where Jennifer’s charm, easy production and great agility, very much assured her the top position on this year’s Christmas tree.
And if audience numbers and their real enthusiasm on the night are anything to go by, then Simon would still seem to be getting his annual seasonal mix just right.
PHILIP R BUTTALL