FOREST of Dean Brass held a Concert for Peace and Goodwill over the Christmas period that featured the band, St Briavels Ukraine Hub Choir and poetry and readings.

The concert, at a full All Saints Church in Viney Hill saw the band, led by Martyn Patterson, playmany carols with audience participation and contemporary pieces to mark the end of the year, including Fairytale of New York and Frosty the Snowman featuring a solo from George Stratford.

Readings included included Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah, Christmas Carol by Forest author Harry Beddington and a reading about Christmas spent as a prisoner of war in Korea, written by Lynne Lambert reflecting on local veteran Ron Beddis’s return from captivity 70 years ago.

The audience were treated to four choral pieces from the St Briavels Ukrainian Hub Choir led by Natalia Lutaienko.

Forest of Dean Brass
Forest of Dean Brass (Pic supplied)

The choir sang two traditional Ukrainian pieces and the audience heard about customs and traditions in their homeland.

Hayley Marangon accompanied the choir on piano for a rendition of Love Shone Down.

Everyone was moved by the Ukrainian Anthem sung by the choir accompanied by the band.

The audience was reluctant to leave. and only did so after a rousing encore.

Bekki Berrow, Chair of Forest of Dean Brass, said: “We were delighted with the public support at the concert.

“Also in Yorkley, where we played over Christmas and made a traditional appearance on Christmas Day.

“It was a pleasure to perform with the Ukrainian choir.

“We felt it was important to embrace them because of the challenges their families have endured and continue to face."