THIS was a seasonal feast of music marking the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth with two of his compositions, A Ceremony of Carols and St Nicolas Cantata and John Rutter’s When Icicles Hang.

The choir was in excellent voice, tackling some very demanding singing to great effect. The text, in Middle English, was taken from the English Galaxy of Shorter Poems. Full justice was done to Britten’s wonderful music.

Rutter’s When Icicles Hang separated the two Britten compositions, and produced the usual excellence we have grown to expect from this fine contemporary British composer.

In Britten’s St Nicolas Cantata, there was some fine solo singing by Stephen Newlove, and a harp solo by Georgina Wells, introducing a soft rhythmic chiming off-setting the bell-clear singing of the sopranos, the whole full of drama and spirit.

A special element certainly was the contribution by the orchestra and instrumental soloists.

They enriched the musical experience to perfection. Greg Smith’s conducting was both delicate and eloquent, perfectly directing the singers and instrumentalists in a very fine performance.

The venue proved to be a touch chilly on a cold November night, and we noted some rather antiquated-looking heating pipes – very large, but not seemingly very effective. However, the music was worth a little shiver!