Preview: Christmas concerts

Simon Parkin From traditional carol concerts to festive music recitals, there is plenty of seasonal sounds to be heard during the festive period. SIMON PARKIN offers a guide to Christmas concerts in the coming days.

Simon Parkin

From traditional carol concerts to festive music recitals, there is plenty of seasonal sounds to be heard during the festive period. SIMON PARKIN offers a guide to Christmas concerts in the coming days.

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St Andrew's Hall, December 13, £15/£12 cons, 01603 620917,

The English Serenate with the Serenata Youth Choir will perform this Christmas spectacular at St Andrew's Hall tomorrow.

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The highlight of the show will be a performance of 'The Snowman', featuring a youth choir soloist, and narration by Royal Shakespeare Company actor Jeffery Dench.

The programme combines well-loved Christmas music and carols with some surprises.

There will also be seasonal music by Howard Blake, and the spoken word will include the work of Charles Dickens, John Betjeman, and Dylan Thomas.

Edward Watson originally composed his Twelve Days of Christmas - the witty John Julius Norwich version - for English Serenata.

His Christmas Cake Recipe carol will also feature, alongside other favourites such as Torches, Silent Night, and The Computer's First Christmas Card.


Dragon Hall, December 16, 6pm and 8pm, £7, 01603 663 922,

Following high demand for tickets, community choir Hearts and Voices is to perform a special Christmas concert at 6pm as well as at 8pm on Tuesday.

Hearts and Voices will perform a mix of their most popular repertoire of world music, spirituals, jazz and pop arrangements, alongside seasonal songs and Christmas music with a twist.

Their Christmas repertoire ranges from quirky arrangements of better known Christmas carols - including a jazz/calypso fusion version of Silent Night - to musical director Chrissy Parsons-West's own arrangement of Joni Mitchell's beautiful wintry song River. There are also some rarely heard part-songs and rounds from the pagan tradition and a couple of carols composed by Chrissy herself.


King of Hearts, Wensum Street, Norwich, December 18, £8/£15, 01603 611412,

Passacaglia is one of Britain's best-loved baroque chamber ensembles.

The group combines the unique sound of recorders, flute, viola da gamba and harpsichord with an engaging and charismatic stage presence which has attracted them worldwide attention, especially for their interpretations of French repertoire.

Here they'll be performing their very own suitably Christmassy mix of Baroque music, including Corelli's Christmas Concerto, Noels by Daquin, Lebegue and Charpentier and uplifting music by JS Bach.

Performers will include Annabel Knight, Louise Bradbury on flute recorders, Emilia Benjamin on viola da gamba and Robin Bigwood playing harpsichord.

The ticket price includes a nice glass of mulled wine for added festive cheer.


St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, December 19, £6-£15, tickets available from Prelude Records 01603 628319,

Christmas simply wouldn't be Christmas without the Norwich Phil's popular Family Concert. The ever popular concert is always a hot ticket, so you're advised to get booking if you want to experience its seasonal cheer.

This year Matthews' Norfolk Brass will join the Norwich Philharmonic Choir and the City of Norwich School Chamber Choir, to perform carols for choir and audience and much more.

The evening will be under the conducting baton of David Dunnett.


Norwich Cathedral, December 20/22, £10-£14, (£8-£12 cons), children half price, 01603 628319,

This concert is truly one of the highlights of the festive season. Norwich Cathedral Consort and Norwich Baroque join forces to present a delightful mixture of Baroque music in celebration of Christmas.

The performance will include the Charpentier Messe de Minuit and Corelli Christmas Concerto all in the magnificent surroundings of a candlelit cathedral. Conductor David McKee

Then on December 22, there is the annual free open-to-all Carolathon aimed at families pre-school children (2pm) followed by community carol singing for all ages (3.30pm).

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