Waverley Singers’ Christmas concert, O Magnum Mysterium, held at the Church of St Lawrence in Alton on December 2, took as its theme the mystery that unfolded in a stable on a cold winter’s night more than 2,000 years ago.

The choir’s musical director Richard Pearce has the gift of putting together original and inspiring programmes, and this concert was no exception.

The audience responded warmly to the choir and organist Philip Scriven, and also to seven young singers of the Farnham Youth Choir Ensemble who delighted with poignant, lively and assured unaccompanied singing of four carols. They will represent the UK at the World Choir Games in New Zealand in July.

The programme included familiar carols but also works from the Renaissance period, including Puer Natus in Bethlehem by Michael Praetorius, Hodie Christus Natus Est by Hans Leo Hassler, and two pieces by Clemens non Papa – named to distinguish him from Pope Clement and priest poet Jacopus Papa – Pastores, Quidnam Vidistis?.

These were complemented by some modern pieces from, among others, Francis Poulenc, David Willcocks and John Rutter.

Philip Scriven tickled the audience’s fancy with a modernistic piece by Olivier Messiaen, Les Bergers, and Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, reputedly the most widely performed and recorded piece of Western music.

The retiring collection for Alton Foodbank raised £840.

The choir’s next event is a workshop on Mozart’s Requiem on January 13, and all are welcome.

For more information visit www.waverleysingers.com