Christmas carol with a fun twist


  • Metro News
  • Monday, 30 Dec 2019

The Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra led by Rutherford (top) delighting crowds with festive melodies.

AUDIENCES at the Family Christmas Concert 2019 presented by The Actors Studio Chorus and Orchestra in Penang found themselves in a joyful singalong.

With lyrics provided in the event programme and conductor Martin Rutherford giving the cues, they belted out selected lines from the night’s 23 featured tunes.

It included classic carols such as Hark The Herald Angels Sing and Silent Night which had traditionally been the annual concert’s opening and closing numbers.

In between, the 60-strong chorus and 22-member orchestra also delivered other favourites like Sleigh Ride, Away in a Manger and O Holy Night.Santa Claus is Coming Tonight saw the jolly character making an appearance to give out candies to the young ones.

The Twelve Penang Days of Christmas was also notable.

Featuring adapted lyrics by Mary Rutherford, the partridge in a pear tree was replaced by a monkey in a palm tree, alongside two hill trains, three trishaws and four betel nuts.

Five durians, six char koay teows, seven joss stick makers, eight pasar malams, nine Proton Wajas, 10 hawkers’ cooking, 11 batik dresses and 12 jalan sehalas further injected local flavour to the traditional tune.

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day, Hallelujah Chorus and Jubilate Domino also made a return from previous shows, alongside new carols like O Little One Sweet, Torches and See Amid the Winter’s Snow.

Born For Us, composed by chorus member George Swalwell, also had its debut performance in the recent concerts.

This was the 10th annual Family Christmas Concert in Penang, directed by Martin Rutherford and the seventh to be held at Stage 1 of Penangpac in Straits Quay.

The first three were held at the grand ballroom of the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in George Town, and many in the latest performance had been singing and playing since the first edition.

Music lovers can mark their calendars for upcoming concerts in 2020 - starting with a show titled Sounds Familiar on April 18, followed by Famous Musicals on Sept 12.

The Family Christmas Concert returns again on Dec 18 and 19.

Those who enjoy singing can also consider joining The Actors Studio Chorus. Rehearsals are held at Penangpac every Monday from 8pm to 10pm.

Give Martin a call at 04-818 0149 or 014-907 8101 to arrange a straightforward five-minute audition.

For upcoming Penangpac shows, follow penangpac on Facebook, @penangpac on Instagram or log on to www.penangpac.org.

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