Concordia's 16th Candlelit Christmas Concert 2015
This year's 16th Candlelit Christmas Concert took place at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, featuring stunning international artists who have been part of our Young Audiences education programme, the Healing Power of Music with University College Hospital Cancer Centre and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, and our 50 concerts a year in the Covent Garden area, including St Martin-in-the-Fields, St James’s Church, Piccadilly, and National Portrait Gallery.
Concordia Artists performing on the night included Gareth McLearnon flute/director, Ahmed Dickinson guitar, William Vann organ/piano, Katy Elman percussion, Rhiannon Llewellyn soprano, Dingle Yandell bass, Laura Mitchell soprano, Nicole Crespo O'Donoghue violin, Matilda Lloyd trumpet and the Mellanie Trio.
Our thrilling programme included Handel, Vivaldi, Adolphe Adam, Bach, Mozart, an International Medley and traditional carols including the Twelve Days of Christmas, with poignant readings by special guest reader, Caroline Blakiston and Concordia Ambassador Nicky Gayner.
Let us make ideas sing…and give young artists a platform and a voice
to project harmony in the environment through music and the arts.
Previous Christmas Concerts
13th December 2014
Our 2014 Christmas Concert showcased a fantastic variety of music, including pieces by Bach, Bizet, Brahms, Handel and Mancini as well as popular Christmas tunes and rousing Carols that everyone joined in with. We were also thrilled to welcome Gabrielle Speaight as our special guest reader.
Leading Concordia Artists involved were:
Gareth McLearnon, flute/director, Nicky Spence, tenor, Peter Foggitt, organ/piano, Rhiannon Llewellyn, soprano, Timothy Connor, baritone, Sam Kinrade, trumpet, Violeta Barrena, violin, Lyrit Milgram, vioin and All The Malarkey, vocal ensemble.
14th December 2013
Our 2013 Christmas Concert featured music by Purcell, Haydn, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Puccini and Rachmaninoff. Popular pieces included ‘Ave Maria’, ‘Lark Ascending’, ‘The Bird Catcher Aria’ and ‘Carol of the Bells’.
This year we welcomed three students from St Clement Danes School, who joined Concordia Artist Ruairi Glasheen in a rendition of Little Drummer Boy. Ruairi also joined forces with Gareth McLearnon to add a new twist to the proceedings and to celebrate their Irish Heritage, performing the Belfast Hornpipe.
15th December 2012
This year’s concert was once again filled with crowd pleasers, including ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’, ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, and ‘Pie Jesu’. As project director Gareth McLearnon said:
“A wealth of talent and variety of music was crammed into one evening’s magical entertainment. This year, Gillian also invited the actor and director Richard Stirling, the celebrated actress Isla Blair and Concordia’s new Business Ambassador to the City of London, Vicky Carter to present readings, testimonials and poetry. The programme burst at the seams – bringing everything from traditional carols and the ever popular Christmas medley arranged for Gillian by (the now World Famous) John Wilson; to richly scored Operatic scene, chamber music and choral a cappella.”
We were delighted to welcome Vicky Carter as guest speaker:
“I am hugely honoured to be standing here tonight, representing Gillian Humphreys’ inspirational charity, Concordia Foundation, which has become a very important part of my life too. I was first introduced to Concordia through Andrew Beazley, an enigmatic character, highly successful Lloyds underwriter, An inspiration and a great supporter and Friend to me. Sadly, Andrew passed away recently after a very brave battle against cancer. Andrew saw the immense value of Gillian’s work with Concordia and following his death, I felt a very strong desire to also assist Gillian in the tremendous work she is doing. The barriers of colour, race, language and culture are crossed, friendships forged and the world’s young talents of the wider platforms fulfil their dreams and play to audiences around the world. Their recent work has taken them to Africa, Vietnam, China, Cuba and Monte Carlo. 2011 saw them undertake their most ambitious mission overseas to date in Kenya and the tremendous work they accomplished there with their Music for Life initiative. But this year, is London’s year, with our city not only celebrating the Queen’s jubilee, but also hosting the 2012 Olympics. With this very much in mind, reaching out from the heart London was the theme adopted by Concordia this year. I have had enormous pleasure and privilege to work closely with Concordia during this year, and in June to a full house of over a thousand people, Concordia performed with the current and future leaders of the insurance industry at the Young Professionals Gala Night at Old Billingsgate. Their performance, which reached out from every part of London covered the Beatles to Bohemian Rhapsody and was applauded by all. Following their outstanding performance in June, GC flew a few of Concordia’s most talented artists down to Monte Carlo in September to perform at a dinner of the industry’s chief executives from around the world. The performance was held in triumph and invitations were offered to travel further afield for other events. The talent of Concordia’s young musicians is quite outstanding and with Gillian’s tireless efforts, these young people’s talents can be nurtured to the full to provide pleasure to so many, but as importantly provide aid and hope to so many young people. As Winston Churchill once said, “What is the use of living if it not be to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?” And as Albert Pike once said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” Gillian, thank you for your endless efforts to support these incredibly talented young people and to provide hope to so many. I hope you will all choose this time of giving to dig a little deeper and give generously to Concordia. Now I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a very happy, healthy and successful new year.”