8 December – Night Dedicated to Carolyn
Despite a chilly evening, the eighth night of the LAC took place in the warm glow of Holy Trinity Church, with the surprise performance by the Rock Choir, who were the first ever LAC act and also the only act to perform every year. An excited crowd enjoyed hot chocolate provided by Philip Booth Esquire and were taken on a real musical adventure from Christmas songs to Ed Sheeran and even Meatloaf. The choir sang a haunting version of Halleluiah, pop classic, Jitterbug and the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows along with many more.
Katy Seath, conducting the choir, said, “If you know the words, please help us.” The crowd really did join in, there was clapping and singing and even some dancing.
At the end of the performance LAC organiser Richard Rodway, said, “So we are all joining the Rock Choir in the new year? What fun! I think only the Rock Choir can get you from Carol of the Bells to Boogie Wonderland. So much fun. It embodied the event for me.”
The raffle was in support of Regatta for the Disabled and at the start of the evening Richard explained it was a charity close to the heart of Carolyn Molyneux, who passed away earlier in the year, but who was a massive part of the LAC and was really looking forward to its return this year. Her family were in attendance and Richard urged the crowd to make her proud this month.
9 December – The Sax Bandits Hit Market Square
The Living Advent Calendar opened its 9th window on Friday night with a performance by The Sax Bandits, in Henley’s Market Square.
The band was introduced by LAC organiser, Richard Rodway, who welcomed the audience and thanked them for braving the icy conditions, encouraging the crowd to dance to keep warm and to visit future performances that are planned for the LAC over the coming weeks.
On a chilly evening, the all saxaphone community band which consists of over 90 musicians, from 6 bands over three counties, entertained the crowd with a variety of Christmas tunes including Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Oh I wish it could be Christmas Every Day, and hits from the past.
Funds from the raffle were raising money for the Mayor of Henley’s charities, which includes four primary schools.
Commenting on the generosity of Henley, Richard Rodway said to date “We have already made more money for good causes in 2022, than the whole of the first event in 2014.”
10 December – Living Advent Royalty, Highly Strung
Describing the surprise act on night 10 of the Living Advent Calendar in the clubhouse at Henley Rugby Club, organiser Richard Rodway said, “I’d like to introduce you to Living Advent Calendar royalty. You know you’re royalty when you get to play indoors. May I introduce Highly Strung.”
Leader singer, Ian Desmond before singing the opening song of The Only Living Boy in New York by Simon & Garfunkel said, “Thanks for coming out tonight when you could stay at home in the warm and watch the football.”
The band went on to play California Dreamin’, Decota by the Stereophonics before singing Happy Xmas (War is Over) when two of the audience members stood up at the front and waved the Ukranian national flag.
The set ended with the national football song Sweet Caroline with the audience singing and waving their hands in the air just before the game kicked off on the big screens in the clubhouse.
The night was raising money for the Henley branch of Parkinson’s UK which Terry Dudeney spoke about saying, “230 people suffer with Parkinson’s disease in the Henley area. We as a branch support members and their carers, we raise money for research and we will find a cure for this disease. I think it will be sooner rather than later, trust me. I have inside information and that’s the way it is going.”
You can see the full programme at https://www.livingadventcalendar.co.uk/