Living Advent Calendar Doors 9-12: Christmas Cheer, Blaze of Glory, Santa Stops By and Young Stars Shine

9 December – Club’s Choir Sings Christmas Cheer

Phyllis Court’s Club Singers took to the stage at the Town Hall for the 9th day of the Living Advent Calendar.  Their superb set accompanied by James Church on piano saw them sing festive classics including Winter Wonderland, a reworked While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, and Let it Snow with choir member, Tony Horsfall introducing each song.

The 30 piece choir then went on to perform a brilliant 50s medley of songs including classics, Jailhouse Rock, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Rock Around the Clock and Da Doo Run Run before closing the excellent performance with Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas which received a big applause from the audience – one of the biggest we’ve heard this year.

Afterwards Tony said, “It’s been a real pleasure and a privilege to sing tonight” and then invited, the audience to come and visit Phyllis Court Club which is planning to build new tennis courts and a health club in 2018.

The evening was sponsored by Kench & Co, chartered accountants and the raffle was raising money for the Henley branch of Parkinson’s UK.

10 December – Blaze of Glory for Rock Choir at Fire Station

The Henley Rock Choir stepped into the breach to put on a full 30 minute performance at the Fire Station on Saturday night after the team of firefighters at the station had to pull out of their performance.  Michael Saunders from the Fire Station explained that illness and absences had precluded them from preparing or performing something this year, but they would have to return with something bigger and better in 2017!

The audience were treated to a rousing and uplifting performance by the Rock Choir instead. The 36 strong choir, led by conductor and mentor Lucy Hewes performed several contemporary and festive classics such as Wham’s, Last Christmas and Stevie Wonder’s, What Christmas Means To Me.

After the performance, the audience had an opportunity to inspect the fire engine and have a tour of the Fire Station. Mayor Julian Brookes and Richard Rodway presided over the nightly raffle, this time in aid of Henley YMCA. Richard Rodway thanked himself and his partners at the Head Partnership Solicitors, partners for the night, who had supplied cookies for the audience.

Photos above taken kindly by Tash Franklin

11 December – Santa Stops Performance in Their Tracks

The performance for Day 11 kicked off early at 5.45pm as there was a bumper double surprise starting with Steph’s Dancing Divas & Dudes entertaining the audience by dancing to the likes of Olly Murs’, Dance with me tonight and Shakin Stevens’, Merry Christmas Everyone.

At 6:15pm the performance was followed by the choir from HAODS performing some festive classics such as Carol Of The Bells and a sing along rendition of The 12 Days Of Christmas. Proceedings had to be halted briefly when the Divas & Dudes (still buzzing from their performance caught sight of Father Christmas on his sleigh who performed 4 laps of the Town Hall much to their delight.

“It was chaos in Falaise Square tonight” said Living Advent organiser Richard Rodway, “but there was such a good and busy festive atmosphere in the town. We were not expecting Father Christmas to put in an appearance, and a big thanks to HAODs for taking that unusual interruption in their stride”.

12 December – Not 1 but 3 Stars Shine at Magoos

Richard Rodway opened the show on the 12th night of the Living Advent Calendar at Magoos by saying, “What’s better than one performer? And what’s better than two performers? That’s right, we’ve got three performers!”

The three performers were Maya Rees, Lottie Bell and Georgia Michel who have all been part of the Acoustics@Magoos young talent project under the guidance of JJ from Eight Ray Music.  All three of them also played at the Music on the Meadows in the summer this year.

Maya kicked off with two of her own songs Real Love and Darling I Do which she sang with a brilliant sultry but great emotional style which the audience loved.  Next on was Lottie Bell who brought the show back to have a Christmas feel with a great rendition of the Ave Maria cover by Beyonce before then playing the upbeat Vance Joy’s, Rip Tide.

Georgia Michel, who performed for the first time last year at The Angel, closed the show with her own song, Faces before getting the audience singing along to Merry Christmas Everybody.

The Cook Curry Club provided a sample of their delicious curry and the evening was raising money for Riverside Counselling and their youth counselling, The Space.

Tonight’s door (Tuesday 13 December) will be at Simmons & Sons on Bell Street.  The performance kicks off at 6.15pm.

For the first time the Living Advent Calendar will be going to two locations on Wednesday (14 December).  The first will be at Henley College before the performance act will move to The Close, off Greys Road, starting at 7.00pm.  This has been organised jointly by the Gainsborough Residents’ Association (GRA) and the Living Advent Calendar committee.

It was the idea of The Close resident, Ron Cook who asked David Eggleton, Chair of the GRA to see if this could happen as he said, “many of the elderly aren’t able to get to the LAC events”.  David said, “We love to get new ideas and we thought that this one was a great one to help achieve for the elderly residents of both The Close and Gainsborough.”

Copies of all photos are available to purchase email


Hotel du Vin Website

Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *