Beds String Quartet Christmas Concert at Totternhoe Church – Last night the Manor House String Quartet played the first of our Winter concert series, this time in the lovely village Church of St Giles of Provence in Totternhoe. The Church Warden had booked us for this event after attending one of our concerts in Eaton Bray Church back in the autumn and we were delighted to be asked to perform in neighbouring Totternhoe. As ever, ticket sales started gradually with a last minute flurry and plenty of people turning up on the door, so we had an audience of just over 60 people to enjoy an evening of music for ‘Winter and Advent’. When we arrived, we all commented on the stunning stained glass window that greeted us – a relatively modern piece by artist John Piper which is very striking, particularly with the Church illuminated from within.
We started by playing ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ by J.S Bach and followed with carols which are more specifically relevent to Advent such as ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’, ‘Gabriel’s Message’ and ‘To Drive The Cold Winter Away’. In the spirit of winter, we also included pieces from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, some excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria with ‘Winter’ from his four seasons played during the second half. The audience seemed to enjoy the concert and were warmed up during the interval by some mulled wine and mince pies. We were similarly looked after with the Church providing us with our own refreshments in the vestry where we had left our instrument cases. A few audience members purchased copes of our Christmas discs and we had some lovely comments from people who were already asking when we’d be coming back to play.
Most importantly, a respectable amount was raised towards Church funds and this village event drew people from outside the congregation into this lovely rural Church. We very much hope to return to St. Giles Church in Totternhoe for a future concert.