The annual Macmillan Christmas Concert in Duns Parish Church is one of the highlights of the run up to Christmas and the programme this year was just bursting with young talent.
Following a rousing opening of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, Sunday’s programme started with Pat Seemachaibowron from Berwickshire High School on piano. Pat played Chopin’s ‘Nocturne’ in E-flat with such beauty and feeling it was a joy to the ear.
Next up were The Berwickshire High School Brass Band who played ‘Map’ by Maroon 5 and the great Christmas favourite, ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town’ which featured Ewan Steady on solo trombone.
The Brass Band is always great and this year was no exception, their performance bringing a smile to everyone’s faces.
Duns Primary School’s first group then took to the stage with a moving tribute to WW1 entitled ‘A Christmas Memory’. The group used traditional carols, poetry and video images to create a poignant piece which focused on the Christmas Day truce between the Allied forces and the enemy. It was extremely well presented and a really good reminder of a beautiful moment in a terrible war.
The next performer, who also attends Duns Primary School, was a tiny, talented trombonist named Eliza Bevan. Eliza Bevan, aged seven, played Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. How such a little body managed to produce such a big, beautiful sound is a mystery - wonderful!
Following on from Eliza came Duns Guides. The girls always give us a jolly performance but this year they surpassed themselves with ‘The Little Star Nativity’.
The Guides had decided to do this in the Scots dialect so had re-written it for the concert.
It included some verses from some well-known Christmas songs. It was funny and very well performed by all the girls - a novel and quirky way to present the Christmas story.
The final two acts were from The Berwickshire High School. The extremely talented lads in the guitar ensemble gave us a unique jazz arrangement of ‘Habanera’ from Carmen, and Beethoven’s epic 5th Symphony. They were followed by Maddie Cawthorn who sang ‘O Holy Night’, with angelic clarity.
The concert was rounded off by the Brass Band leading everyone in a gospel version of ‘Joy to the World’. Christmas is a time of joy and this effervescent end to the proceedings sent everyone on their way with joy in their hearts.
The MacMillan Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the concert and helping to raise funds for this wonderful cause which helps so many people deal with cancer.
Huge thanks must also go to Mr Cameron Mabon from The Berwickshire High School who does so much to make this happen and also Mr Kennedy brass instrument instructor, the leaders of Duns Guides and the teachers at Duns Primary School who all worked with the young people to help put together this magnificent show.
The best news is that £800 was raised for Macmillan. Thank you one and all and Merry Christmas from Macmillan.