In 2000, a group of Peterborough musical friends established a Christmas concert that was unlike any other—more influenced by Celtic and roots music, and one where people would hear something other than the usual Christmas carols and standards we hear every year.
"I was also inspired by Tom Jackson’s annual The Huron Carole concerts that raise money for local food banks," says one of its founders John Hoffman. "So we decided to launch the concert and donate the money to a local charity. Then I discovered that a small group was trying to establish a facility for homeless youth and that seemed like the perfect beneficiary for us."
Now, nearly two decades later, In From The Cold has had a huge impact—raising more than $100,000 for YES Shelter for Youth and Families, and also helped to raise awareness about the needs of homeless youth in our community.
After 18 years, Hoffman says that what has really kept this much-loved, anticipated event going over the years is two things: the music and what he calls the "In From the Cold feeling".
"The concert is a great creative exercise for us musicians," he tells PTBOCanada. "We enjoy digging up beautiful Christmas songs that are seldom sung but deserve to be heard. We love arranging them and performing them in our signature Celtic style. And then, the feeling you get when you walk out on the stage to perform is just magical. It’s like a huge family gathering—a really supportive, responsive audience. Lots and lots of people come to see the show each year, so it’s kind of like a family reunion."
-> Carried Away (Susan Newman, Rob Fortin and John Hoffman, with guests Michael Ketemer and Tanah Haney) -> The Convivio Chorus (choir) -> Enriqué “Roy” Claveer (Curtis Driedger) -> Michael Ketemer: does a fingerstyle guitar solo each year
SOME NEAT SONGS DURING THIS YEAR'S CONCERT
-> Susan Newman has set the Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", to music and arranged it for choir. -> "Noel est Arrivé": a very old, rollicking song from Provence -> "Christ Child’s Lullaby", from the Outer Hebrides -> "Wintergrace", an Appalachian song: "It is so catchy and lovely, it’s hard to believe that hardly anyone sings it anymore," says Hoffman. -> "Sweet Bells", a lovely and lively carol from Yorkshire -> "A Cradle In Bethlehem", which was a hit for Nat King Cole in 1960
Hoffman says there will also be versions of some Christmas standards, including "Silent Night", "Good King Wenceslas" and the "Gloucester Wassail".
The 18th annual In From The Cold concert takes place on December 8th and 9th this year at Market Hall. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and children), and available at Moondance or at the Market Hall online box office.
Local filmmaker Rodney Fuentes has made a short documentary about the concert. Watch it below...