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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Christingle Christmas Celebration

Following our performance at the Bedford Christmas Tree Festival we were approached to support Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Sevice’s annual Christingle Christmas Celebration at Woburn Parish Church on Thursday 20th December.

The service gives everyone in the Service, except those who cannot be released from operational duty, the opportunity to come together, with friends, families and the communities we serve to celebrate Christmas.

Chief Fire Officer Paul M Fuller CBE QFSM MStJ DL

The Reverend Stephen Nuth hosted and conducted the service this year with the Bishop of Bedford Richard Atkinson.

Together with the Stotfold Salvation Army Band we led congregation carols and also performed two pieces during the service.

  • Congregation: Once in Royal David’s City
  • Congregation: O Little Town of Bethlehem
  • Moonlighters: Gaudete (Simon Berridge, Solo verses)
  • Moonlighters: The Earl of Salisbury Carol
  • Congregation: Good King Wenceslas
  • Congregation: Away in a Manger
  • Stotfold Salvation Army Band: A selection of Christmas music
  • Congregation: Silent Night
  • Congregation: Hark the Herald Angels sing

A collection was taken in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity and Woburn Parish Church.

Photos can be seen from the event here in the album on our Facebook Page.

Joint Christmas Concert Programme

We returned to Upper Caldecotte with the Northill Community Choir for a joint Christmas Concert this year. Whereas previous concerts have been earlier in the month, this year we performed on 15th December. All concert proceeds were split between charities.

  • Northill: Dream a Little Dream
  • Northill: Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  • Northill: Good Night Sweetheart
  • Polaca by Weber, Oboe & Piano
  • Moonlighters: If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis
  • Moonlighters: Don’t Worry About Me – Frances arr. Charles Evans
  • Amy Stewart: One Hand, One Heart – L Bernstein
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High (audience)
  • Together: A Babe is Born – A Bullard
  • Together: Love Shone Down
  • Suite in A Minor, Air a L’Italien & Rejouissance’, Flute & Piano
  • Together: Away in a Manger
  • Together: Silent Night – H. Gruber
  • Northill: Silent Holy – Harriet Bushman
  • Amy Stewart: Sunrise Sunset
  • Trio in G – Platti
  • Moonlighters: Earl of Salisbury Carol (Sweet Was the Song)
  • Moonlighters: Orpheus in the Underground
  • Twelve Days of Christmas (audience)
  • Together: We Wish you a Merry Christmas
  • Together: Mele Kalikimaka

Bedford Christmas Tree Festival 2018

This year the weather was kind and we were able to perform at the Bedford Christmas Tree Festival at St Paul’s Church on Sunday 9th December. Unfortunately we were without our MD, Simon Berridge who was busy performing with The Sixteen. Thanks goes to Charles for playing the piano and to Liz R for leading.

Our programme was:

  • O Christmas Tree
  • Love Shone Down
  • Away in a Manger
  • Ding Dong
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Earl of Salisbury Carol
  • A Babe is Born
  • Jingle Bells
  • Mary’s Lullaby
  • O Christmas Tree (reprise)

Some fantastic photos were kindly taken by Ian Whiting of the Bedford Camera Club and can be seen on our Gallery page.

Milton Ernest Christmas Fair 2018

We were pleased to return to Milton Ernest Hall to entertain residents and visitors to their annual Christmas Fair on the afternoon of Saturday 8th December.

Our programme was:

  • O Christmas Tree
  • Love Shone Down
  • Away in a Manager
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Earl of Salisbury Carol
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Christmas Round
  • I saw Three Ships
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Joy to the World
  • A Babe is Born
  • Jingle Bells
  • Mary’s Lullaby
  • Orpheus in the Underground
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Charity Carolling for the Elisabeth Curtis Centre

On 5th December, Kate, Liz C, Sally and Janet T represented The Moonlighters to help lead and support charity carolling in Bromham in aid of the Elisabeth Curtis Centre. The Centre is part of Riding for the Disabled. Together with a quartet from the Bedford Town Band, volunteers from the Centre and local residents from the Parkland estate, a merry band serenaded carols up and down the local roads while a collection took place from door to door.

“Thank you very much to members of The Moonlighters for joining with the brass band, Parkside residents and the Elisabeth Curtis Centre for carol singing. The Moonlighters added to the carol singing, certainly by increasing the volume and also keeping the rest of us vaguely in tune! As far as the Elisabeth Curtis Centre is concerned, it was a very successful evening as we collected almost £400 on the night with the total amount still rising!”

Pearl Farr, Secretary and Trustee, Elisabeth Curtis Centre
Kate, Liz C and Janet T with carollers

Christmas 2018 at Wimpole Hall

We were delighted to join other choirs to perform at Wimpole Hall as part of their Georgian Christmas celebrations this year. On Saturday 2nd December we performed to visitors in the stable block area, which although windy, provided a pleasing acoustic.

View our Facebook Event here

Christmas Engagements 2018

We are looking forward to a very busy Christmas season! Here is where you can catch us over December:

  • Saturday 2nd December – Wimpole Hall – 1pm
  • Wednesday 5th December – Charity Carols at Bromham from the Elisabeth Curtis Centre – 7:30pm
  • Saturday 8th December – Carols at Milton Ernest Hall Christmas Fair – 2pm
  • Sunday 9th December – Bedford Christmas Tree Festival – 1:30pm
  • Saturday 15th December – Joint Christmas Concert with the Northill Community Choir at Upper Caldecotte – 7:30pm
  • Thursday 20th December – Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Christingle Christmas Celebrations at Woburn – 7:30pm

More details for these engagements can be found on our Facebook page

Programme from Summer Concert 2018

Northill Community Choir:

  • Wade in the Water
  • Scarborough Fair
  • El Cafe

Solo: The Lord Bless You and Keep You
Instrumental: Loeillet Sonata Flute, Violin, Continuo

Moonlighters:

  • Dindirin
  • Our Love is Here to Stay

Instrumental: Solo on Violin

Northill:

  • How can I keep from Singing
  • I’ve Got You Under my Skin
  • The Lady is a Tramp

Solo: Fairest Isle performed by Sue Nash
Instrumental: The Swan on Cello
Instrumental: Flute Solo

Moonlighters:

  • Killing Me Softly
  • The Long Day Closes
  • The Flintstones

Northill:

  • Dona Nobis
  • Italian Salad
  • El Condor Passa

2018 Summer Concert

We are pleased to continue our friendship with the Northill Community Choir and perform a joint summer concert on Saturday 14th July 2018 at All Saints Church, Upper Caldecotte.

There will be a variety of things to please your ears, choral and instrumental. A mix of songs from both choirs and some soloists too. Plenty of laughter along the way. All finished with lovely cake.

Tickets £5 on the door, proceeds to local charities.

View the event on Facebook

Spring at Langslade House, Bedford

On the 10th December 2017 we were due to perform at Langslade House in Bedford for the residents, but the weather prevented us getting there on the day. We were very glad to rearrange to sing a spring programme to the residents on April 29th 2018.

  • Let’s Do It
  • Blue Moon
  • Java Jive
  • Halfway Down
  • Vespers
  • Dindirin
  • Flintstones
  • Bare Necessities
  • Only You
  • Under the Boardwalk
  • Goodnight Sweetheart

Programme from Christmas Concert 2017

Thank you so much to all who came to our Christmas Concert in Biggleswade on 20th December. It was lovely to see so many of you there to share in our seasonal celebrations, especially to other local singers who joined the audience.

Here is what we performed:

  • Oh Christmas Tree
  • The Evening Primrose
  • The Little Road to Bethlehem
  • Oh Come All Ye Faithful (audience)
  • Away in a Manger
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Star Carol
  • Reading: Christmas Thank Yous
  • Mary’s Lullaby
  • Love Shone Down
  • The Goslings
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High (audience)
  • Jingle Bells
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

We were also pleased to perform the limited edition 2017 Christmas Card piece by Charles Evans, a local composer and member of the Moonlighters.

Programme from Joint Christmas Concert

We were very pleased to partner with the Northill Community Choir again on Saturday 2nd December 2017 and perform a Christmas Concert at Upper Caldecotte.

We performed The Evening Primrose, O Christmas Tree, Away in a Manger and The Goslings. We also joined in with some of the Northill numbers.

2017 Christmas Concert & Social

We are pleased to invite you to join us for our Christmas Concert and Social on Wednesday 20th December 2017 7:30pm at the Footprints Room, Trinity Methodist Church, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade. There will be songs, carols, light refreshments, chat and friendship. 

View event on Facebook

Christmas 2017 Performances

We have a very busy Christmas season planned. Here is where you can catch us:

  • Saturday 2nd December – Joint Concert with Northill Community Choir – Upper Caldecotte 7:30pm
  • Saturday 9th December – Milton Ernest Hall Fete – 2:30pm
  • Sunday 10th December – Bedford Christmas Tree Festival – 1:30pm
  • Sunday 10th December – Langslade House – 3pm
  • Wednesday 20th December – Christmas Carols and Social in Biggleswade – 7:30pm

EDIT: Sadly our engagements on 10th December were cancelled due to inclement weather. We hope to rearrange and perform at the Christmas Tree festival and Langslade House in 2018.

St Andrew’s Biggleswade Country Fayre

On Saturday 23rd September 2017 – we were pleased to perform on the open air stage at St Andrew’s Church Country Fayre in Biggleswade.

The Moonlighters sang:

  • Java Jive
  • Only You
  • Blue Moon
  • Under the Boardwalk
  • Cakes and Ale
  • Once Twice Thrice
  • I’ve got Rhythm

2017 Summer Concert with Northill Community Choir

Following our appointment of Simon Berridge as our new musical director, we were pleased to perform our first joint summer concert with the Northill Community Choir, which Simon also directs.

Come join us on Saturday 8th July at All Saints Church, Upper Caldecotte, Bedfordshire. The programme will be a variety of things to please your ears from Byrd to jive and gospel. A mix of songs from both choirs and some soloists too. The concert will finish with some lovely cake.

£5 tickets on the doors, proceeds to local charities.

View event on Facebook.

Simon Berridge, our new musical director

In March 2017 Simon Berridge agreed to fit our choir into his busy schedule.

Simon is a tenor with The Sixteen who began his music studies at Trinity College, Cambridge where he was also awarded a choral scholarship, and subsequently continued his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music with Edward Brooks.

He is a highly experienced concert singer and has performed as a soloist with renowned ensembles, recording numerous records. We are very fortunate to appoint him at Musical Director.

Concerts in 2016

7th May St Paul’s Church Bedford – A Musical Interlude

This was a marvelous opportunity for us to join with St Paul’s Church Choir and Kongsberg Kantori, a visiting Norwegian group.  Although much of the programme consisted of Bach, we sang three spirituals in the middle of the evening, Didn’t it Rain, Ev’ry time I feel the Spirit and Steal Away.  At the end we all took part in Immortal Bach, a variation by Knut Nystedt involving an amazing creation of sound.

8th May St Andrews Church in Biggleswade – Spring concert combined with Harmony Youth Choir. 

The Moonlighters sang a variety of songs including three spirituals and two of Charles Evans’ arrangements of Winnie the Pooh poems, Halfway Down and Vespers.  We also sang his version of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and a challenging but fun arrangement of Flanders and Swan’s Ill Wind (the song about the French horn!)

3rd July Dunton Church Fair

24th September – St Paul’s Church Michaelmas Market

11th November Cutler Hammer Kempston – Canine Partners Entertainment

The audience was largely made up of humans rather than dogs who were appreciative of our offerings despite the fact that we had to perform without a musical director.  Several other groups were taking part which meant that we were entertained too.  A community choir, a barbershop quartet a ukulele band and us!  The golden oldies came out that night such as Chattanooga Choo Choo, Under the Boardwalk, It Don’t mean a Thing and Java Jive.

3rd December Milton Ernest Hall Christmas Fair

Since there were only five ladies able to perform, we found a different selection of non-Christmas and Christmas songs and carols.  These included Jamaica Farewell, Do you hear what I hear? and The Little Road to Bethlehem.  As always, we received a warm welcome from the residents and staff.

16th December St Andrew’s Rooms, Biggleswade.  A Christmas entertainment for the Sandy Masonic Lodge.

We rounded off the year with our third visit to the Sandy Lodge.  We sang fairly traditional carols as requested but included Twelve Days After Christmas and But Once a Year, another of Charles’ compositions.

Christmas Concerts 2015

As last year, we returned to sing for the Ladybirds group in Gamlingay, Milton Ernest Nursing Home and the Sandye Masonic Lodge.  It was lovely to be invited back by all three groups and to share their Christmas celebrations.  We did not share a warm-up location with the fire engine in Gamlingay this year but were warmly welcomed.  Many more friends and family joined in with residents at Milton Ernest and the Masons participated energetically once again.

Combined concert with East Beds Youth Choir

Music Through the Ages. This took place at Upper Caldecote Church, starting at 3pm.  Proceeds were for the Sue Ryder home in Moggerhanger.  Our music ranged from madrigals about nymphs and shepherdesses to songs from films such as Blue Moon and The Bare Necessities.  We also introduced the Flanders and Swan song about a French horn and a selection of Winnie the Pooh favourites.  The East Beds Youth Choir included music from the Beatles, the Lion King and Beyoncé!  The church proved to be a lovely venue and many friends and family swelled the ranks of the audience.

Sue Ryder Hospice, Stagenhoe on Sunday 10th May 2015

This venue provided us with a different but very enthusiastic audience.  This was despite the fact that the lift was not working so that the piano and most of the residents were separated by a whole floor and an extremely long corridor!  However we were able to perform a variety of songs including Fair Phyllis, Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron, Let’s Do It and Only You.

Biggleswade Masonic Lodge, Friday 19th December

We provided after dinner Christmas entertainment for this ‘White Table’ event.  Our hosts were very hospitable and came prepared to join in with some of the selected carols.  This was a lovely way to bring our 2014 singing to a close.

Milton Ernest Hall Christmas entertainment, Saturday December 6th

We sang Christmas songs and carols at various points during this event for residents, friends and family.  It was great to make use of the lovely hall and staircase as well as singing in the lounge.  Those staff, residents and visitors who could gather round did so, as well as visiting the stalls in the dining room and Father Christmas!  Our songs included Quem Pastores, Ding Dong Merrily on High and a setting of Away in the Manger by our tenor, Charles Evans.  It went down very well.

Ladybirds Gamlingay, Wednesday December 3rd

We entertained this group of ladies with a mixture of our usual repertoire and traditional carols.  Our audience was very enthusiastic and shared their lovely light refreshments with us before we left and they started to play various games.  Before the performance we rehearsed songs like Under the Boardwalk, Goodnight Sweetheart and In the Bleak Midwinter in the shadow of the fire engine in the next room!

Sandy Sangerstevne, Saturday 18th October

Our third appearance at the Sandy Festival saw us rounding off the event, held in the afternoon at St. Swithun’s Church.  Philip Norman organises this event each year along with a similar  festival in London.  There were eight other groups/choirs performing their chosen pieces with amazingly little overlap!  We chose a Rogers and Hart favourite, ‘Blue Moon’ while Just A Cappella from Hemel Hempstead gave a rendition of the jazzy version.  St. Mary’s Singers from Potton also included ‘The Long Day Closes’, one of Arthur Sullivan’s emotional reveries which we love singing too.  It was a very successful event overall and a treat for those visiting and getting a free concert thrown in.

Balstock Festival, Sunday 14th September

To our usual venues, Luton Airport and various tents, we have now added a concert in a pub!  We have sung outside a pub before but this time we were in The Orange Tree in Baldock.  This free festival took place all over Baldock for three days and it now includes a variety of music, not just rock.  We provided a selection of early twentieth century popular songs, some Victorian music and some other songs from the mid twentieth century.  This was the first time that we sang Goodnight Sweetheart, written originally for the American quartet known as The Spaniels, but also included in the 1987  film Three Men and a Baby.

Spring Concert, Saturday May 10 2014

This was a combined concert with Harmony Youth Choir at St Andrew’s Church in Biggleswade.  The event brought in over £700, to be split between the church’s clock renovation fund and St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger

The Moonlighters provided a varied programme including English Victorian songs, 1960s popular music such as The Bare Necessities and Under the Boardwalk, spirituals and 1930s hits by Rogers and Hart and Cole Porter.  The atmosphere ranged from Sullivan’s soulful The Long Day Closes to Porter’s rather risqué Let’s Do It.

Two songs were sung by the choirs together – Seal Lullaby and The Rhythm of Life.

 

Choirs Aloud

The Moonlighters took part in a performance for ‘Lighting up Luton for Christmas’, in the centre of the shopping area on December 7th 2013.  We sang a mixture of our usual repertoire and Christmas carols.

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We hope to see you at a concert soon!

Bourn Concert, 20th October 2013

The Moonlighters performed at Bourn as part of a concert with many other local musical acts. The programme was a variety of our repertoire, some from America in the early 20th Century. We performed in two sections, the first was mainly hits of the 1930s, which remain popular to the present day.

  • I’ve Got Rhythm
    Gershwin standard sung by many famous singers including Ethel Merman who also sang the following song:
  • Miss Otis Regrets
    This is Cole Porter’s story of a lady who comes to a bad end because of a man! 
  • Tea for Two
    We finished with a much frothier jazz hit from 1924, which has been used for a McVities biscuit advert in 2005 and even sung by the Muppets!

The second section began with two more hits from the 1930s.

  • Let’s Do It!
    Another Cole Porter song, our version is both less risque and shorter than many others
  • The Continental
    The song won the first Academy Award for best original song in 1934. It was sung by Ginger Rogers when it appears in a 20 minute dance sequence by Fred and Ginger in The Gay Divorcee.
  • Honey Pie
    From the 1960s, this song may not sound like a Beatles number, but it is Lennon and McCartney’s 1968 homage to British Musical Hall. 

New Website

Welcome to our new website – we’ll be updating it with new events, performances, photos and details for you to see.

– The Moonlighters

St George’s Day Concert, 19th April 2013

The Biggleswade Ivel Rotary asked if we could provide some entertainment at their St George’s Day dinner in April. We put together a special programme to perform for them after dinner including their requests.

The running order was:

  • Once, Twice, Thrice
  • My Spirit Sang all Day
  • The Long Day Closes
  • Who Shall Win my Lady Fair
  • The Turtle Dove
  • I Love my Love
  • Tea for Two
  • The Continental

Interval

  • I Gave her Cakes and I gave her Ale
  • Oranges and Lemons
  • The Owl and the Pussycat
  • Memory
  • Bustopher Jones
  • Yesterday
  • Honey Pie

Sandy Sangerstevne October 2012

The Moonlighters followed a private performance for Wyboston WI, by contributing to Philip Norman’s Sandy Sangestevne on October 13th in St Swithuns’s Church in Sandy High Street.

We joined 3 other choirs and a scratch choir in two hours of choral entertainment, and we opened and closed the event. The Moonlighters’ first session combined our traditional early 20th century pieces, I Got Rhythm, Autumn Leaves and the Continental, followed by Moon River and the least famous Beatles song: Honey Pie, ( with an excellent solo by Tim Jones).

Tim also opened the second session by leading us in a distinctly modern song: Only You, famously performed by The Flying Pickets, before we finished with a short rendition of Tea for Two.

Philip is the Founding and Musical Director of the London Sangerstevne ( which calls together 28 choirs from across the globe) and thought to bring a smaller version to Sandy. We hope to have even more choirs participating next year.

2010 Christmas Concert in Blunham Parish Church

Monday 13th December 2008 at 7:30pm
St Edmund’s or St James’ Church, Blunham Beds

The Moonlighters with some guests from the Hurstingstome Singers performed another mixture of traditional and unusual Christmas Carols and Songs with seasonal readings

Programme included

Come to Bethlehem – Warlock

A Spotless Rose – Howells

The Snow – Elgar

Legend – Tchaikovsky

Winter Wonderland – Bernard

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) – Torme and Wells

and a carol specially composed for the Moonlighters by Paul Parsons : Festive Baubles

2010 Summer Concert: A Musical Romp through the 20th Century

A Musical Romp through the 20th Century: The Moonlighters performed their new modern repertoire in aid of the restoration fund for St Peter’s Catholic Church in Station Road Biggleswade on 2nd July 2010.

Songs performed were:-  Caravan, Under the Board Walk, Girl from Ipanema, Wonderful World, Stand by Me, Fly Me to the Moon, Fever, Killing Me Softly with his Words, Only You and a selection of Abba greats.

Celebrating 50 years of the Bedford Geographical Society

A unique evening combining Music and Geography. The evening’s programme, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Bedford Geographical Association, included songs linked to geographic themes; Bedford (and some of its famous residents); and what was popular in music 50 years ago. The evening will included performances from the Bedford School Dance Band, Gabrielle Bell, Rex Walford and the Moonlighters.

The Moonlighters performed for the first time:-

Wonderful World (arranged by Paul Parsons)
The Geographical Fugue (Ernst Toch)
The Girl from Ipanema (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
and Now is the Hour ( Maori Song of Farewell)

as well as old favourites from the Glen Miller era.

 

2009 Abbots Ripton Church Joint Concert with the Hurstingstone Singers

The Moonlighters joined friends, the Hustingstone Signers in Abbots Ripton on 28th November for a light hearted evening of musical entertainment.

This was a second chance to hear the new repertoire of great vocal arrangement of popular songs from the 60’s 70’s and even 80’s including a selection of Abba favourites.

2009 Tempsford Village Hall Harvest Supper Entertainment

The Moonlighters really looked forward to showcasing their new material at the Harvest Supper in Tempsford.
With this new selection of songs we returned to our roots of great vocal arrangements of popular songs.

Killing Me Softly with his Words
Stand By Me
For the Longest Time
Only You (much better than the Flying Pickets version!!)
Under the Boardwalk
Caravan

Plus a selection of Abba hits:

Thank you for the music
Money Money Money
SOS
and Super Trouper

2008 Christmas Concert in Blunham

Monday 15th December 2008 at 7:30pm
St Edmund’s or St James’ Church Blunham Beds

The Moonlighters performed another mixture of traditional and unusual Christmas Carols and Songs with seasonal readings

Programme

O Little Town of Bethlehem – EVERYONE

Come to Bethlehem – Warlock

‘Christmas Bells’ from a longer poem by Anon (Jenny Ollerenshaw)

A Tender Shoot – Goldschmidt

‘The Journey of the Magi’ by T.S. Eliot (Janet Tredget)

Chorale Prelude on ‘Wachet auf’ W.V.645 – Bach

Blessed be that Maid Marie – English Traditional
(Quartet : Liz R, Heather, Tim J and Tony)

I Wonder as I Wander – Rütti

‘Christmas’ by John Betjeman (Liz Calvert)

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen – EVERYONE

‘A Visit from St. Nicolas’ by Clement Ciosk Moore (Tim Chaple)

Winter Wonderland – Bernard

Snowflakes by Clive Sansom (Sally Gilbert)

Naϊdes (from Pièces de Fantasie, Suite No. 4) – Vierne

The Twelve Days After Christmas – Silver

‘Christmas Thank Yous’ by Mick Gower (several)

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) – Torme and Wells

‘A Dish for a Poet’ Traditional (Kay Quinn)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing – EVERYONE

‘African Christmas’ by John Press (Judith Wakeling)

We Wish You a Merry Christmas – English Traditional