Guide to the best Christmas music in Norfolk
There is nothing more likely to lift the seasonal spirits and celebrate Christmas then a carol concert. SIMON PARKIN offers a guide to some of the places to enjoy festive sounds.
Wymondham Central Hall, December 7, 7.30pm, �8, under-12s free, 01603 812371
The Norwich City Concert Band presents a programme of seasonal music tonight in aid of local cancer support charity Star Throwers. The band at the Lions-organised concert will be directed by Brian Dermott. They will also play a Christmas Concert at Horning Village Hall on December 14 (�6, under-14s free).
You may also want to watch:
Time and Tide, Blackfriars Street, Great Yarmouth, December 7, 6pm, free admission, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
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Time and Tide Museum holds its popular Carol Concert tonight. This free-entry event will feature a traditional brass band and the voices of the children of St George's Infant and Nursery School. Father Christmas will be dropping by too, arrive by 5.30pm to see his reindeer.
THE MEDIAEVAL BAEBES
Norwich Cathedral, December 8, 8pm, �17.50, 01603 218450, www.cathedral.org.uk
The hugely popular vocal group return to Norwich as part of their Christmas Cathedral Tour. The Mediaeval Baebes formed in 1996 when a group of friends broke into a North London cemetery and sang together, clad in flowing white gowns and crowns of ivy. Pulling lyrics from mediaeval texts and setting them to original scores using mediaeval and classical instruments, whilst singing in an impressive array of long forgotten languages, they've enjoyed three albums topping the classical charts and won an Ivor Novello Award. They arrive in support of their new album The Huntress, but expect plenty of festive music.
ST NICOLAS CONCERT
St Peter and St Paul Church Street, Cromer, December 8, 7.30pm, �10, under-18s free, 01263 822347, www.sheringhamandcromerchoral.co.uk
Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society mark the Saint's day by singing Benjamin Britten's Cantata St Nicolas and other seasonal favourites. The choir directed by Nathan Waring will be joined by the Jiminies from Gresham's School. Tenor Paul Smy will sing the part of St Nicolas. Britten composed this Cantata for the centenary celebrations of Lancing College in 1948, it is therefore very fitting they have chosen this for their first Britten performance in his centenary year.
Christchurch, King Street, Great Yarmouth, December 9, 2pm, �6, 01493 844242, www.gybrass.org.uk
Great Yarmouth Brass' 13th annual Christmas Brass event. The audience will have the opportunity to join in for some of the carols, and mixed with the more traditional pieces such as White Christmas and The Coventry Carol there will be some fun pieces including the bass trombone solo Frosty the Snowman and Caribbean Christmas to warm the spirits.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich, December 9, 3pm, �6 (�5 cons), www.octagonmusic.org.uk
This latest in the Octagon Concert Series features seasonal music and words, with the Octagon Singers featuring choir carols including by Walford Davies, Alan Bullard and arrangements by David Willcocks and Bob Chilcott, piano music by Mendelssohn, organ solos by J S Bach, Handel and Willcocks, readings including by Kenneth Grahame, Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens and audience carols. Then on December 12 (1pm) there is 'Come and Sing Out' in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. Admission is �3 on the door.
A BAROQUE CHRISTMAS
St Michael and All Angels' Church, Barton Turf, December 9, 7pm, �6, �3 children, 01603 760669
Festive concert from the Barton Turf and District Choral Society. The choir will perform Charpentier's Messe De Minuit. There will also be lots of carols too, accompanied by David Dunnett, organist and Master of the Music at Norwich Cathedral. Seasonal refreshments are included.
A VIENNESE STRAUSS CHRISTMAS GALA
Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, December 9, 7.30pm, �24.50 (�23.50 cons), 01502 533200, www.marinatheatre.co.uk
Christmas concert featuring the 33-piece British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Fraser Goulding, with leader Jeff Moore, and guest soloists Marilyn Hill Smith (soprano), Andrew Forbes Lane (tenor) and Jeremy Peaker (baritone). Expect Sleigh Ride by Delius along with The Christmas Festival Overture, Silver Bells, and O Holy Night, The Blue Danube and more.
CAROLS WITH THE KING
Forum, Norwich, December 9, 7pm, �14 (�12 cons), �10 children, 01603 660661, www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
Following the successful events in previous years, another festive evening in the company of Elvis and his music. This year the evening will be a fantastic festive mix of Elvis' Christmas songs plus some of his greatest classic hits and a carol or two for you to sing along with. All performed by the Blue Sueders with Elvis.
St John Cathedral, Norwich, December 13, 7.30pm, �8 (�5 cons), 01603 508050, 628319, www.uea.ac.uk
The 120-strong UEA Choir Christmas Carol Concert takes place in the atmospheric surroundings of St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral. The choir, under the direction of Tom Primrose, will present a feast of festive favourites, with a chance to join in well-loved community carols to really raise the roof...
A CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS
Norwich Cathedral, December 15, 7.30pm, �14 (�12 cons), �5 under-18s, 01603 218450, www.cathedral.org.uk
What place can there be to celebrate Christmas than Norwich Cathedral and there are several carol concerts through the festive period. Norwich Cathedral Consort will provide an evening of traditional Christmas music in candlelit on December 15, previous year's music has included Vaughan Williams' Fantasia Christmas Carols and Holst's Christmas Day. Other carol services include: The Cathedral's Express Steam Dreams Carol Service (December 15); A Christmas Meditation, with Master of Music Ashley Grote playing Messiaen's great Christmas cycle for organ La Nativit� du Seigneur interspersed with readings from scripture on December 16 (6.30pm); Community Carol Singing on December 20 (3.30pm); Christmas Procession with Carols on December 23 (6pm).
ANGLIAN SINGERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT
St George's Church, Colegate, Norwich, December 15, 7.30pm, �7, 01362 820532, www.angliansingers.org.uk
The Anglian Singers choir is a mixed voice choir of about 30 members and specializes in both a cappella and accompanied singing of both sacred and secular works. This is their third concert of Christmas music and carols, both old and new. Their will also be some audience participation too.
FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT
St Thomas' Church, Earlham Road, Norwich, December 15, 7.30pm, �6 adv/�7.50 door, 01603 612588, www.stthomasheigham.org
The third candle-lit Festival of Christmas at St Thomas, this year featuring The Larks Quartet, The Framingham Earl Singers, Stephen Rooke Tenor (Glyndebourne) and John Simmons, Baritone (Ely Cathedral and St Thomas' Church), directed by Jason Collins, accompanied by Vaughan Brookes.
SWINGING INTO CHRISTMAS
The Forum, Norwich, December 16, 7.30pm, �13 (�11 cons), 01603 630000, www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
Jonathan Wyatt and his Big Band will once again be raising the Forum roof with a sparkling blend of well-known jazz, Christmas favourites and dancehall classics. This toe-tapping evening of seasonal nostalgia is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. Expect festive favourites including Sleigh Ride, Let it Snow! and White Christmas along with classics from the libraries of Michael Bubl�, Harry Connick Jnr, Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.
FAMILY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
St Andrews Hall, Norwich, December 18, 7.30pm, �16-�6, under-26s �5, 01603 628319, www.norwichphil.org.uk
Norwich Philharmonic's hugely popular and wonderfully sing-along seasonal annual Christmas concert once again at St Andrew's Hall. The large orchestra, complemented with glorious chorus, will this year perform a programme that will include festive favourites ancient and modern including Christmas carols for orchestra and audience — so make sure you have your singing voice. Conducted by David Dunnett with guest appearances.
SEASONAL SONGS AND STORIES
Dragon Hall, King Street, Norwich, December 19, 7.30pm, �10 (�8 cons), 01603 663922, www.dragonhall.org
Big Sky Choir return to Dragon Hall for their annual Christmas concert of traditional and contemporary seasonal songs, with the seasonal tales of storyteller Hugh Lupton. The long established city choir, directed by Sian Croose, will create a magical evening celebrating the festive season and Winter Solstice beneath the imposing traditionally decorated Christmas tree in the Great Hall of King Street's 15th century Dragon Hall. Lupton, one of Britain's leading storytellers, will be on hand with appropriately atmospheric tales and yarns.
CANDLELIT FAMILY CHRISTMAS CONCERT
St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich, December 22, 6pm, �6 (�4 cons), �16 family, vivavocesingersnorwich.org.uk
Joint winners of the 2011 BBC Radio Norfolk Choir of the Year competition, the Viva Voce Singers host this candle-lit Family Christmas Concert in aid of Mancroft Advice Project. The Norwich-based chamber choir of around 25 singers has a reputation for high quality performances. The programme of this festive special will include carols, poems and some audience participation.
MIXED VOICE CHRISTMAS SHOW
Music Room, Assembly House, Norwich, December 22 (7.30pm)/December 23 (2.30pm/7.30pm), �11 adv/�16 door, 01603 628319, www.mixedvoice.co.uk
Mixed Voice is back at the Assembly House for the third year running. The Mixed Voice Christmas Show has brought festive cheer to audiences for the past two years and 2012 will be no different. Featuring specially arranged solos, duets and group songs, as well as the 30-strong Mixed Voice choir, all backed by a fantastic live band, this special evening features everything from traditional classics to modern interpretations of your favourite Christmas songs. Last year it played to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. If this does not get you into the festive mood then nothing will!
NORWICH CHRISTMAS CEILIDH
Assembly House, Norwich, December 23 (8pm), �12 (�10 adv), �10 (�8 adv) under-18s, 01603 628319, www.mixedvoice.co.uk
Enjoy an evening of music and dance with the Red Herrings ceilidh band and Triette French dance band. No experience is necessary as the dances are explained in advance by the caller.
GREAT YARMOUTH CIVIC CAROL SERVICE
St Nicholas, Church Plain, Great Yarmouth, December 10, 6.30pm, 01493 852859
Join the Mayor and a pipe band playing our most loved carols. All are welcome.
Millennium Plain, Forum, Norwich, December 13, 6pm, free admission, www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
Norwich churches of all denominations come together to sing traditional carols. There is also a collection where you can make a donation to the St Martin's Housing Trust.
Forum, Norwich, December 17, 10am-4pm, free admission, www.theforumnorwich.co.uk
Norfolk's Signed Choir perform Christmas carols, using British Sign Language to translate carols such as Away In A Manger and Hark The Herald Angels Sing.
TOWN CAROL SERVICE
St Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury, Becketswell Road, Wymondham, December 23, 6.30pm, 01953 600800
The traditional candlelit service of lessons and carols led by Wymondham Abbey Choir.