Living Advent Calendar Doors 7 to 11 – Young Stars Light Up Henley with Singing & Dancing

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Children’s Voices Light Up D:Two…

Door 7 opened at the back of the D:Two main hall to welcome the young members of the Henley Youth Choir.  Over 40 members of the choir which was started last year sang a medley of Christmas songs including a special one called ‘Christmas in Falaise Square’ which was written by Alfie Hay, co-founder of the Henley Youth Festival and one of the teachers at the Henley Youth Choir.  Alfie wrote it in 1993 and is part of a set of songs to describe life in Henley throughout the year. The charity for the evening was Nomad.

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Voice of an Angel at Angel on the Bridge…

Door 8 saw local singer/songwriter Georgia Michel emerge at The Angel on the Bridge to treat the audience to some great versions off some Christmas classics ‘Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Jingle Bells’, a couple of contemporary classics in the form of ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘Toxic’, and her own compositions including ‘Tiptoe’.  Great refreshments again this year at the Angel on the Bridge with warm Pimms and turkey rolls kindly provided by Copas.

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Stars Come Out in the Secret Garden…

Door 9 revealed 20 little stars from Henley Children’s Theatre  Group in the secret garden at Simmons & Sons. The children enthusiastically delighted the audience with some festive classics ranging from ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, ‘Pantomime’ and ‘Let it Snow’.  The raffle on day 9 was raising money for the Chiltern Centre for Disabled Children.

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Festive Funky Dancing and Crackin’ Christmas Choir…

Door 10 was due to open on Market Square around the Christmas tree, but as the audience started to gather, the heavens opened and everyone was ushered through the Advent doors into the Town Hall. The surprise performance was the Rupert House Chamber Choir who treated the audience to great versions of some festive classics, before Steph’s Divas and Dudes dancers took over with some fun and contemporary dance routines to more Christmas favourites. Fundraising on the night was for one of the Mayor’s supported charities, Thames Valley Animal Welfare, and a couple of their volunteers added to the spectacle and sense of occasion, dressed as cats.

Double Christmas Stocking Surprise…

Door 11 was back in the Town Hall for the second night.  The evening was sponsored by Studio 35 jewellers in Duke Street who provided refreshments and some sparkling raffle prizes.  Laura Reineke played the violin with her daughter Mae on cello and Alison Wilkins on piano performed two beautiful pieces ‘Apres Un Reve’ – Faure’ and ‘Ladies in Lavender ‘ by Nigel Hess’. Afterwards Laura said, “Now for something more upbeat,” which then saw the Henley Rock Choir emerge from the audience flash-mob style to take over the rest of surprise performance.  They treated the audience to uplifting classics including ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.  Before the performance Laura spoke about the Henley Music School which she founded and the evening was raising money for.

Chair of the Living Advent Calendar, Richard Rodway said “It’s been really enjoyable week, completely different from week one, but thoroughly entertaining for different reasons.  It’s always great to be able to provide a platform and opportunity for local young talent, and I was delighted to welcome The Youth Choir and Georgia Michel to the Living Advent.  Christmas being something all about children, we then saw that evolve into lots of excited happy faces over the Wednesday and Thursday and it was rather fitting that we should end the week working with the Henley Music School, who are all about giving people the opportunity to get into or return to music and develop their talent.”