When La Côte Anglican Church held its first concert of “Jazz carols” in Nyon, Switzerland, a few days before Christmas 2010, it was a one-off attempt to liven up some traditional Christmas songs. However, when we held the sixth jazz carols concert on 16th December 2016, we realized just how much this event has become an institution. The annual jazz carols concert has a growing following. This year’s concert saw over 150 fans crammed into La Fraternelle evangelical church that we’d borrowed for the evening to listen to – and join in with – old favourites such as “In the bleak midwinter” and “Hark the herald angels sing” rendered in a modern jazz-inspired format.

The musical arrangements were written by La Côte’s youth leader (and flute-player) Calen Gayle, and our three jazz singers and formidable jazz musicians were joined by members of a Geneva Gospel choir for part of the evening. To provide some light relief the music was punctuated by our trusty team of rusty thespians (assisted by our youthful chaplain Carolyn Cooke) who gave us their down-to-earth account of what the heavenly cherubs and seraphs thought of that night when Jesus was born. It was an evening of music and humour with some moments of reflection on what Christmas is all about – and we also raised some funds for our work with asylum seekers in Switzerland. Judging by the enthusiastic response, it looks like we’re going to have to hold a seventh edition in December 2017.

Thanks to Elizabeth Bramley for this report.