Children from the local junior schools once again gave outstanding performances to a full house of around 300 friends, families, local residents and invited guests, including St Albans City and District Mayor, Cllr Janet Smith and local Councillors at the Parish Council’s Annual Community Carol Concert at the beginning of December.
The children from Mount Pleasant Lane School, supported by Legolam and friend, two Shetland lambs, who joined the children on stage for the performance of the traditional nativity story, following which the school choir joined them to perform ‘O Holy Night’. Children from Killigrew, Mount Pleasant Lane and How Wood Schools all read a selection of poems, with How Wood School presenting their own original poem.
In addition to the presentations from the schools, guests were entertained by the Choir, drawn from all the local churches and friends, and St Albans Brass Band who also provided the accompaniment for the traditional carols. Rev’d Kylie Hodgins from St Luke’s Church delivered her Christmas message, themed around a tub of ‘Celebrations’, and the concluding prayer.
This was 20th Annual Community Carol Concert, and it was fitting that the Parish Council chose this event to recognise the work of former parish councillor, Mr Ian Getley and to present him with an award.
Mr Getley retired from office last year after more than 25 years service to the community. He set up both the Remembrance Day Service, which has grown from just a handful of people at the memorial to the event we have today with the parade, road closure and attendance by more than 1200 people, the Community Carol Concert and the Park Street Fete which now forms part of the Parish Council’s Festival. Ian was also instrumental in many of the initiatives that we see in the Parish today.
The Community Carol Concert remains a free event, run by the Parish Council, and is made possible by the continuing support of volunteers, choirmaster Ian La Riviere, who has been involved in all 20 of the concerts, Penny Farmer, the Shetland lambs’ owner, and Salsa Mish.
This year’s nominated charity was Changing Faces and the collection made at the end of the event raised over £335. Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for everyone with a scar, mark or condition on their face or body that makes them look different. They provide advice, support and psychosocial services to children, young people and adults. They challenge discrimination and campaign for Face Equality: a world that truly values and respects people who look different.
Councillor Dorothy Kerry, Parish Council Chair commented
“The Annual Carol Concert is seen by many in the Parish as the ‘starting point’ for the Christmas celebrations. This was our 20th annual Community Carol Concert – an event started by Mr Ian Getley, who we have honoured today – but which could not take place without the support of the local schools, churches and individuals who give their time at this particularly busy time of year.
My thanks once again to everyone involved, including all our staff, who helped to make the Concert such a big success”