Wonderful Withington Christmas 2019
A new Withington tradition was born this December with the inaugural Manchester Sings event, initiated by Withington’s Director of Music, Mrs Gillian Sargent. Inspirational, moving and just a spectacle to behold, nearly 250 children gave an unforgettable performance at Manchester Cathedral on 4th December. But all customary Withington traditions – and more – remained firmly in place in our festive programme.
WOOD STREET MISSION 150TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT
The opening festive event was the contribution of the WGS 26-strong pop-up choir at Manchester Cathedral on 18th November at a service to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Wood Street Mission. They performed May the Lord Bless You and For the Beauty of the Earth.
FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS AT ST ANN’S CHURCH
Withington has been a friend and supporter of Wood Street for many years and, indeed, the next music event on the calendar after Manchester Sings was the annual Festival of Lessons & Carols at St Ann’s Church on 9th December. A highlight of Withington’s Christmas calendar for over 60 years and from which, as always, the collection was made towards the work of Wood Street Mission and St Ann’s Church. The sound of heavenly voices filled the church as pupils and staff choristers performed songs including Mirabilé Dictu from Manchester Carols and When A Child is Born. It was a wonderful traditional Carol service, made even more enjoyable by the amazing acoustics of St Ann’s Church.
THE WITHY EXPRESS
The Junior Christmas show was everything a Junior show should be – bright, happy, glitzy and full of Christmas wonder.
It was an amazing show produced by Mrs Lowe and Miss Hylton-Smith, who also wrote the opening song and script. We were treated to a fantastic display of song and dance with music, and lyrics taken from many of the popular films of the festive season. Our set was brought to life with fabulous scenery, props and special effects. A huge thank you to our team of talented staff who make this event so spectacular!
SENIOR CITIZENS’ CHRISTMAS CONCERT & TEA PARTY
On 11th December, Withington opened its doors once again for the annual Senior Citizens’ Christmas Concert. We had a record number of guests this year and they enjoyed Christmas classics by Senior musicians and choristers, a repeat of Mr Ian McKenna’s winning Teachers Got Talent performance of Robbie Williams’ Angels, and Golden Oldies led by the Staff Choir. Held in the Dining Room, a fantastic spread was laid on for our guests to enjoy, all prepared by WGS pupils and staff. Mrs Sargent paid tribute to the House Committees for organising the event and also a preceding House Competition festive ‘Bake Off’ earlier in the day, which, in turn, provided our visitors with spectacular seasonal bakes. Thanks to the generous donations of gifts we had received from Withington families, every guest was delighted to receive a gift. The event was a fabulous success and, as ever, enjoyed by all who were involved and attended.
SENIOR SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT
A week later, on 15th December, the Arts Centre was filled with music once again for the sold-out Senior Christmas Concert. The audience enjoyed the Christmas music performed by various ensembles and the massed choir of Year 8 accompanied by the Staff Choir. From Stage Band to Flute, Brass and Harp Ensembles, to all the Orchestras and Choirs, an astonishing array of talent was laid on for the audience, showcasing the real breadth and depth of Withington’s Music Department. The concert closed as always with the entire auditorium singing Merry Christmas Everyone!