Ensemble performs wide-range of holiday music to sold-out crowd

By Jeanne Pengelly

Nothing warms the more than a roaring fire, some mistletoe, and a few carols. This year, the Peterborough Pop Ensemble provided the carols in a wonderful spirit-filled evening at Northminster United Church. 

Singing to a sold-out crowd eager to begin Christmas with some holiday favourites such as Sleigh Ride and Baby, It’s Cold Outside, the 18-voice ensemble carried the audience through the gentle refrains of some of the classics and the pleasing harmonies of some of the more modern Christmas tunes; Believe, made popular by Josh Groban from the movie The Polar Express, for example.

A highlight of the evening was the gentle arrangement by music director Barbara Monahan of Silent Night.

“I wanted to create something that reflected the lyrics, and was different enough from the known tune, while preserving enough of the melody to be familiar,” Monahan said. The arrangement moves from major to minor keys, teasing the melodic mentions of Franz Xaver Gruber’s original 1818 tune.

Monahan’s rendition of Grown-Up Christmas List was another crowd-pleaser, as were the six sing-a-longs that involved the audience.

Proceeds from the evening’s entertainment will assist the church in its many outreaches.