Thursday night saw a full audience in the Chapel at Prior Park College and a stage packed with 100 singers from Prior Park College and The Paragon, many dressed in festive jumpers and hats, for a spectacular performance of the Christmas piece WASSAIL! by the celebrated composer Alexander L’Estrange.

WASSAIL! is a new piece, premiered in London and Manchester, and Prior Park hosted only its third performance – there are 18 other UK performances this Christmas. Alexander explained to the audience the rich history of wassailing and how he had selected the carols for this event, hoping that the spirit of joy, reflection and celebration would bring pleasure to singers and listeners alike.

Alexander himself was playing in the band for the concert, and the students had the opportunity to work with him during the afternoon. With sparkling appearances also for the College Orchestra and three talented young soloists, it was the latest in a well-established series of collaborative annual concerts staged by the College and The Paragon School. As one parent put it, “It was a treat… an evening of joy!’”