Graced by Sydney’s renowned church organist Godelieve Ghavalas, a hush descended at All Saints Anglican Church, North Parramatta as Avanthi Jothidas set the dulcet tone for the night with the solo of “Once In Royal”. Thus began the 9th consecutive Carol Service organized by S.Thomas’ College Sydney OBA at precisely 6.30pm on 25th Nov 2017.
Kumar Rasiah who so graciously assists with proceedings each year welcomed all and articulated that this was “not a concert” rather a night where congregational participation was called upon to enhance the singing and promote community spirit. The carefully selected popular carols were lustily embraced by the ‘packed house’ only to be surpassed by the mellifluent musical renditions of the choir. Alight with communal spirit, the choir consisted of a cross section of singers from diverse backgrounds and schools as was the case in previous years. Trilingual singing and Bible readings added flavour and reminded many of the composite of our country of origin.
To Thomians present it was an opportunity to relive attending the college carol service at the school by the sea. Most would have pictured the College Quadrangle lit up magnificently with oil lamps on a balmy night this time of the year whilst others would have experience that ‘chill running down the spine’ feelings of yester year. The inspiring depiction of the Transfiguration mural by David Paynter was missing no doubt here but nostalgia was evoked by the draped Thomian flag and interspersed images of college on the over-head projector. There is definitely something about a carol service that grabs at the heart strings regardless where one comes from and that feeling of inner peace and harmony was clearly in the air!
Reverend Dharshan Fernando an old boy of STC, in his address spoke passionately of the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of sharing the concept of LOVE we so often forget amidst the celebrations and festivities.
Whether it is a cantata, orchestral arrangement or a solo performance, conductor David Sansoni’s virtuosity punctuated the choral aspects throughout the night. “Immanuel” must surely have gripped the spell-bound congregation and the crescendo in “O Come All Ye Faithful” was a perfect high to end the singing. Well wishes were thereafter welcomed to partake of a social at the adjoining hall with more Christmas cheer over refreshments.
An event of this magnitude and success is not possible if not for the dedication of an amazing committee and well wishes. Diligently these individuals come together each year to maintain the benchmark standards and strive to achieve excellence.As such we are so grateful and THANK YOU to you all for making this year another resounding success at promoting goodwill and cheer within the community. Wishing you all a blessed, peaceful and wonderful festive season.