Swinging strings kicked off Christmas at St. Martin’s

By Jack Hodge

The weather outside wasn’t frightful, but the size of the crowd inside was quite delightful as St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, took a different approach to begin the Yule season, with a two-hour Kickoff to Christmas musical event Saturday, November 26.

st-martinwebOverflowing St. Martin’s lot onto street curb parking were the cars of the 30-member Sigmar Martin Community Orchestra, the “Sigstrings”, plus operatic tenor Ricardo Lopez, many orchestra supporters and members of the congregation.
The Oakridge Acres church’s largest hall bulged at the seams as the players tuned up their strings and the audience tuned up their taste-buds on seasonal goodies set out by concert organizer Karen Try’s St. Martin’s Youth Group.

The music of this lively Sigstrings event was wide-ranging, from Bach and Schumann, and “Granada” by the powerful voice of Lopez, to local soloist Emily Leye’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, plus many sing-along favourite hymns and Christmas tunes that had the toes tapping.

And as the picture here shows, music maestro and MC Sigmar Martin was really “in the zone” as he, plus guitar and bass, added their unique jazz licks to “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”.

A fun time indeed — looks like St. Martin’s may have just found itself a new tradition!

Jack Hodge has been a parishioner at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London for 30 years.