B & R’s double dose of cheer

Halifax Young Singers at B & R's Christmas concert.
Halifax Young Singers at B & R's Christmas concert.

BRIGHOUSE and Rastrick Band served up a double helping of festive spirit at their two Christmas concerts at Central Methodist Church, Brighouse.

At the matinee performance the band was joined by Halifax Young Singers and in the evening the band took to the stage alone. Both concerts were a sell out and the church was full to bursting with a friendly and appreciative audience.

David Thornton playing We Three Kings

David Thornton playing We Three Kings

The band was conducted by associate musical director Garry Cutt who, despite suffering from ‘severe man flu’, directed a wonderful programme of music with a distinctly Christmas flavour. Throughout both performances the audience were encouraged to join in singing a number of popular carols which they did with great enthusiasm.

Forty-five senior members of Halifax Young Singers choir performed seven Christmas items in the afternoon concert including the traditional song ‘Gaudeamus’, ‘Nowell for the Merry Citie’, ‘Pine Cones and Holy Berries’ and the old favourite ‘O Holy Night’. The quality and professionalism of the performers was stunning.

They were conducted by musical director Lynn Hudson and accompanied by Craig Cockerill on the piano.

B&R were on top form and clearly enjoyed performing on their ‘home turf’. They romped through a number of Christmas favourites including Leroy Anderson’s ‘A Christmas Festival’ and ‘Sleighride’, Prokofiev’s ‘Midnight Sleighride’ and Philip Spark’s arrangement of ‘The Snowman’.

As usual the concert featured a number of talented soloists including flugel player Lucy Murphy, principal horn player Leah Williams and principal euphonium player David Thornton. The solo items were faultless and demonstrated why B&R are at the top of their game. The concerts ended with a standing ovation and, for an encore, the band’s top 20 hit from the 70s ‘The Floral Dance’.

During the evening concert the band’s president made a presentation to Mr David Howe, who held the position of concert secretary for 12 years before his retirement earlier this year. Mrs Jennifer Howe, David’s wife, was presented with a bouquet of flowers for her extensive work with the band.

Paul Beaumont took the opportunity towards the end of the concerts to thank the committee, patrons and supporters’ committees for their commitment to the band, the vice presidents for their assistance throughout the year, chairman and playing member Dean Redfern and B&R’s ‘catering team’.

The band is giving two concerts at Harrogate’s Royal Hall on Saturday and a concert at Buxton’s Opera House on Sunday.