On a wet and windy evening on night 18 of the Living Advent Calendar and with the river at a high, plans for Santa and Mrs Claus to arrive by the planned Lowland Search & Rescue boat at Thamesfield Retirement Village and Care Home on the Wargrave Road were thwarted but that didn’t stop the show, they arrived instead in the boat on the back of a trailer!
After this surprise, Glass Ensemble, a female choir from Reading, sheltering from the rain under gazebos, didn’t let the wet weather dampen the spirits of their first Living Advent Calendar performance. With a festive set, they started with Ding Dong Merrily on High, followed by Carol of the Bells and Silent Night before getting the audience singing along with Good King Wenceslas, Hark the Herald, and Once in Royal David’s City. The highlight for the evening was the rousing Jingle Bells, with the choir ringing their sleigh bells and Santa and Mrs Christmas joining in.
Lowland Search & Rescue were one of the 24 Living Advent Calendar charities for the first time this year and proceeds from the raffle went to them on this night. The sponsors for the evening were Grey Matters Consultancy.
Richard Rodway from The Head Partnership and Chair of the Living Advent Calendar said, “Wednesday was very wet, but good fun and my favourite night in many ways. Glass Ensemble choir and accompanying pianist were apprehensive about the singing outdoors in the rain but got into the spirit of things, inviting the audience to squeeze under the gazebos. A classic Henley Living Advent night – the sort of spirit that is what makes the event, and indeed Henley, so special.”