© Newtownards District No.4
THE NEWTOWNARDS DISTRICT CHOIR
The annual Newtownards District Carol Service was initiated by the District Master, the late Wor. Bro. Billy McIlroy, following the District Gospel Mission which marked the Millennium year 2000.
The then District Chaplain, Wor. Bro Roy Graham, Wor. Bro. Hugh Morrison and other members of LOL 1054 arranged the first carol service, with a local primary school choir providing the special items of praise. This format continued in the succeeding year.
The year after this, a school choir was not available and it was decided to form a choir from among the membership of several lodges. For many members this was their first experience of choral singing and for their special item of praise, a tuneful melody with a strong harmony was chosen, to which one of the choir members composed appropriate Christmas words.
The choir initially sang in two part harmony, but as they gained experience, this increased to a full four part harmony. Unaccompanied singing requires strong balance and blend from each part and the choir-master Wor. Bro Robert Jackson can be a hard taskmaster if he is not satisfied with the harmonies being produced.
Choir practices begin with prayer to acknowledge that we are engaged in the singing of praise to Jesus Christ, who is redeemer and lord. There is always a mixture of good humour and an endeavour to get things right.
Choir membership is open to lodge members who enjoy singing and who wish to promote the high ideals of Orangeism enshrined in The Qualifications of an Orangeman.