The festive season is almost upon us once more and I am looking forward to my annual appearances in the Long Gallery at Castle Howard. This year I will be performing on 5 dates: 30th November and 7th , 13th, 16th and 18th December, from 12pm until 3pm each time. I will be joined by my two York-based accompanists Laura Jones (on 30th, 7th and 16th) and David Hammond (13th and 18th) for our usual selection of classical, jazz and Christmas music. The house will be decorated with fabulous trees, garlands and floral arrangements and a new display this year of a traditional ‘toy twig’ in the Garden Room. For more information, including admission prices, visit the Castle Howard website.
After performing in Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man’ to a packed Lincoln Cathedral last month I will be returning there at the end of next week for Handel’s Messiah with the Cathedral Choir under the direction of Aric Prentice. Amazingly this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to play the entire work, so it will be another highlight as the year draws to a close. See the cathedral website for ticket information.
Thank you to all of you who continue to support my work and visit my website. I have a number of projects in the planning for 2015, so keep coming back to see what I am up to.
Christmas is finally here and my festive performances are over for another year. December started well, with our charity concert in York raising over £500 for St Nicks; the money will be used to help fund the children’s play area. Photo: http://djb-photography.com/
In the same weekend I took part in the Christmas Musical Cavalcade in Sheffield. These annual performances, organised by Keith Roe and featuring soloists from around the North of England, the Fellowship Choir and Orchestra and the Abbeydale Singers, raise thousands of pounds for charity each year and are a delight to play in. The programme this time included popular Christmas songs, including Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells, songs from West End shows and the beautiful Marietta’s Lied by Korngold. The finale was Auld Lang Syne and it was wonderful to see everyone in the packed City Hall linking arms and singing together.
Last week I performed as part of Castle Howard’s Christmas event for the 7th year running. I was lucky to be joined by a different accompanist each day: Laura Jones, Catherine Shackell and David Hammond. Our music was very popular with the visitors and as always it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to perform in the Long Gallery.
I always enjoy playing Christmas music, from traditional carols to pop songs and classical works such as Corelli’s Christmas Concerto. For me Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the music of John Rutter and my favourite carol is his Star Carol. It brings back happy memories of my childhood, as the choir in the local church used to sing it every year accompanied by my dad on the organ.
Merry Christmas to you all!