A cathedral setting would have been truly ideal for this feast of young Britten’s seasonal treasures. However, the refined Town hall acoustics were faultless, with Ex Cathedra fulfilling every anticipation of choral perfection.

A major aspect of A Ceremony of Carols was beautifully presented by harpist Tanya Houghton, accompanying the Ex Cathedra Academies.

Challenges of a rocking five-pulse tempo, tender lullabies, clear-cut rhythm and differing voice qualities were crafted discreetly by conductor Jeffrey Skidmore.

A Boy was Born is a collection of six variations, ancient carols sung by the full adult choir. The Orchestra of the Swan supplied strings, percussion and piano duet as a very proficient addition to organ and full choir. Packed full of vital images this is a tale of drama and passion.

Britten’s superb craftsmanship delivered a hair-raising storm at sea, with the young voices revelling in lightning flashes and manning the pumps – percussionists giving their all.