Carols by Torchlight

Published: 21 December 2021

Around five hundred people braved a cold and misty night on Saturday to make Walmer Town Council’s first Carols by Torchlight concert a success.

A combination of community carol singing and performances from top local singers and musicians from Deal Music and Arts left the public wanting more and bursting into spontaneous applause throughout.

The ‘miniature orchestra’ conducted by Paul Edlin, the artistic director of Deal Music and Arts included Chris Lockyer, Peter Cook, Philip White, Roger Bleach, Chris Lockyer and Rachel Bleach.

Cllr Marguerite Beard-Gould chair of Walmer Town Council’s events committee which organised the event, said: “It was wonderful after all the uncertainties caused by Covid to be together with a group of stunning musicians and singers and almost five hundred people who wanted to join them in celebrating Christmas by singing Carols.”

The event was hosted by Canon Seth Cooper who looks after several local Churches and Graham Cooke of Radio Caroline and the BBC.

Opera Singer Carol Kewley held the crowd spellbound with her rendering of O Holy Night and music student Jake St Ange was enthusiastically applauded after he sang Silent Night in the original German and played the music on his guitar – exactly as it was first heard in a small Austrian village Church 1849.

Paul Cooke, Gerry Bearman and Jake St Ange were the three kings from Orient who, bearing gifts travelled afar in the Torchlight event held on Walmer Green next to the Sea Cafe.

Cllr Mrs Beard-Gould explained: “We had hoped to return to the bandstand this year but are unable to do so – however, what was originally a problem has turned out to be a blessing because we have discovered a new location which enables performers and the public be to closer together”.

Paul Edlin, of Deal Music and Arts who conducted the musicians said:

“ I must say, I really enjoyed tonight, making music together with a group of talented musicians and how wonderful to be joined by so many people all wanting to celebrate Christmas by singing together.

“ I hope tonight’s event can mark even greater collaboration between DMA and Walmer Town Council, perhaps (Covid willing) involving young people from Bold As and DMA Music Centre next year.”