This year, our Prepare the Way Advent & Christmas Concerts will take Jo Boyce and the band to three new venues in Liverpool, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton.
With this being our 20th anniversary year, we can’t help but be a little nostalgic, looking back over how our Christmas show has evolved over the last two decades.
20 years ago Rolinson, Boyce and Stanley hired the Library theatre in Birmingham for their first ever Christmas concert. That trio soon became the duo of Boyce and Stanley, who augmented their line-up with a fabulous band and chorus to create the Love in the Air Christmas Concert.
Over the years the all-singing all-dancing “CJM Christmas Concert” became a must-attend tradition within the Archdiocese. It grew from the Library Theatre, to the Crescent Theatre and eventually to the 500-seater Adrian Boult Hall, with two sold-out evening shows and a matinee performance on the Friday and Saturday before Christmas.
After several years of Christmas extravaganzas we were eventually out-priced by the Adrian Boult Hall and made the decision to scale-back a bit. We started using churches as venues – as we did for our concerts at other times of year. And so was born “The Promise Christmas Concerts”
Just days after our Christmas concert in 2010 Mike Stanley was diagnosed with bowel cancer. While undergoing treatment Mike made an unforgettable surprise appearance during our 2011 Christmas Concert, appearing at the back of the church singing the part of Joseph during Dear Elizabeth.
Since 2013 Jo Boyce and the talented musicians of the CJM MUSIC Collective continue to carry the mantle with the Prepare the Way Advent concerts, which tend to take place a little earlier in December than the Christmas concerts of the past. But the mission is the same – to move and inspire us with the longing and expectation of Advent, and the joy of the incarnation.
This year’s concerts are part of a wonderful, twenty-year legacy for which we are very grateful. Long may it continue…
WHEN AND WHERE:
Sat 3 Dec, 7:00pm // LIVERPOOL
St Francis Xaviers Catholic Church
Fri 9 Dec, 8:00pm // SUTTON COLDFIELD
Holy Cross & St Francis Catholic Church, Walmley
Sat 10 Dec, 7:30pm // WOLVERHAMPTON
Ss Peter & Paul’s Catholic Church