Children get top billing at Christmas concert...

Flautist Lynda Robertson
Flautist Lynda Robertson

Everyone’s a star at this year’s Christmas carols concert, a joint presentation by Todmorden Choral Society and Todmorden Orchestra on Sunday in the town hall, starting at the earlier time of 4pm.

Top of the bill is a special spot for the children in the audience.

They will be invited to sing ‘Away in a Manger’ with a little help from friends and family - young stars in the making without a doubt.

In addition the concert is aimed at audience participation to a much greater extent than before when everybody will be invited to join in no less than eight of the traditional Christmas carols in the programme.

From the music hamper, flautist Lynda Robertson, accompanied by her fellow players in the orchestra, performs John Rutter’s lilting ‘Shepherd’s Pipe Carol’ arranged for the flute, followed by the choir and orchestra in the moving ‘Shepherd’s Farewell’ by Berlioz.

Also from the choir are ‘We Three Kings’, ‘Infant Holy Infant Lowly’ and ‘Here We Come A-wassailing’.

A special Christmas cracker is included in the programme, a seasonal ‘Reindeer Rondo’, courtesy of local composer Chris Irvin.

As we did last year there’s a request for members of the audience to bring along their own instruments for this item, preferably sleigh bells, but a bunch of keys will do.

That offers another chance for a star performance.

There’s still more to come with a medley of ‘White Christmas’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and many other tunes specially arranged by composer, orchestra colleague and trumpeter, Lawrence Killian.

Fun and enjoyment are the keynote of this sparkling festive event and surely item two on the programme will set the scene like no other.

This comes with a rousing Yorkshire rendering of ‘While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night’, set to the local anthem, ‘On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At’, thanks again to a special arrangement by Lawrence.

Joint conductors are Antony Brannick, choir, and Nicholas Concannon Hodges, orchestra, with leader Andrew Rostron.

Tickets £8, concessions £6 and £1 for children, are available at Todmorden Information Centre and by phone on 01706 817333.