With a programme of both classical and Christmas music, Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra – one of the oldest non-professional orchestras in the UK – is preparing to get the festive season off to a rousing start on Sunday, December 6.
The orchestra is playing at Huddersfield Parish Church (starting at 2.30pm) and will feature music by Beethoven, Mozart, Berlioz and Tchaikovsky along with carols and seasonal songs, all conducted by Nicholas Simpson.
Although HPO has been around for more than 150 years, it only began hosting Christmas concerts a few years ago.
President Ruth Holmes says the events have quickly become major fundraisers for the orchestra and are enormously popular with audiences.
This year’s audience can look forward to hearing an orchestra playing at full strength.
As Ruth explains: “We have had quite an influx of new members this season and now have 70 regular playing members. We have had a significant number of students from the university joining us and people coming back after starting families. In terms of players and playing together we are in a really good position.”
The classical part of the programme ranges from the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and the fourth movement of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique to movements from Mozart’s 40th and Tchaikovsky’s 4th.
HPO, founded in 1862, is going from strength to strength.
Ruth says: “We have the biggest viola section that we’ve had in years and some new double bass players got involved this year. The only real turn-over we have is in the strings and we would still be interested in some more violin players.”
The orchestra’s 2015/16 programme will continue in February with a concert of magical music from the film Fantasia and ends in June with a cocktail of English music for summer.
For details of the programme visit www.huddersfield-phil.org.uk
Tickets for the Christmas concert are available from Kirklees booking offices, 01484 223200 or www.kirklees.gov.uk