THOUGH there was a low turnout, the annual choral concert hosted by tenor Orville Manning on December 9 at the Spanish Town Methodist Church, lived up to expectation. With the full timbre of his powerful voice, Manning's musical quality was superb even without a microphone.
He gave a commanding delivery of Nazareth-Gounad, the Christmas choral by French composer Charles-Francois Gounad, but Manning was most at home with another Gounad piece, the timeless Ave Maria. He held his own on the Yuletide favourite, When A Child Is Born.
Regulars in the Manning cast, the acclaimed Hugh Douse-led Nexus Choir, again enriched the event with their performance of the South African number Alwuna Lyatswana, Peter Tosh's Creation (Jah Is My Keeper) with lead vocals by Douse. Their rendition of ska singer Derrick Morgan's 1962 Independence anthem Forward March was the liveliest part of the programme as it reverberated throughout the over 100-year-old chapel.
Soprano Danielle Watson was a standout. She led the ensemble on the South African piece as well as on Steal Away to Jesus.
Distinguished organist Trevor Beckford and pianist Yanique Leiba-Ebanks, who have been part of the event over the years, also performed.