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(Posted Dec. 13)
Cumberland Community Singers 'Christmas Carol' a wonderful holiday tradition
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

The Cumberland Community Singers perform 'Noel Nouvelet' during their presentation of the Dickens' classic 'A Christmas Carol' in words and music. Fred Sherwin/Photo


 

Charles Dickens would have been proud. On Dec. 11, the Cumberland Community Singers teamed up with several current and former on air personalities from CBC Radio to present "A Christmas Carol" in words and music.

The performance continued a tradition first begun in 1992 by former CBC Radio news anchor Judy Madrin.

The Dickens Christmas Carol Readings have been held in churches across Canada ever since. Proceeds from the ticket sales are used to support Christmas hamper programs, local food banks and other seasonal charities. More than $200,000 has been raised since its inception.

CBC Radio host Laurence Wall first joined forces with the Cumberland Community Singers to present A Dickens Christmas Carol Reading in 2007. The event has been held at the Orleans United Church every year with the proceeds going to the Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre emergency food program and the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.

Besides Wall, this year's readers included Cumberland Community Singers member Peter Godin, Caroline Gowdy-Williams from Opera Lyra and the Tara Players, Jill Laforty from CBC Radio 2, and former CBC Radio host now retired Rob Clipperton.

Each of the readers recited one chapter from the classic Dickens tale, except for Godin who read the fourth and fifth chapters.

The Cumberland Community Singers and the Queenswood United Church Choir performed songs of the season between each reading. Both halves of the show were kicked off with a Christmas carol more familiar to the audience who were asked to sing along.

The event was then brought to a close with everyone joining in the singing of Silent Night.

The readings were all extremely strong which is what you might expect from seasoned radio veterans like Clipperton, Wall and Laforty. The pleasant surprise of the evening was delivered by Gowdy-Williams, who read the first Stave or chapter.

Her animated oral presentation set the bar tremendously high for the guest readers to follow and they all delivered with a series of impressive recitations.


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