By David Lockwood
Everyone loves a Christmas concert , especially if a good male voice choir is paired with a top-notch brass band, and Saturday night’s concert at a resplendent-looking Huddersfield Town Hall had both.
The 48-strong Honley MVC was in top form while current Yorkshire champion band Carlton Main Frickley Colliery were quite brilliant and set the tone for the evening with the lively Festive Intrada for openers.
The whole of the musical programme was under the assured baton of Honley’s musical director Simon Roberts, who conducted both choir and band as well as admirably fulfilling the duties of compere.
Carlton Main are blessed in having so many talented youthful musicians two of whom – principal cornetist Kirsty Abbott and tenor horn player Jessica Martin – performed stunning solo pieces in either half of the evening.
One of the most dramatic pieces was The Journey – composed by the band’s percussionist Ben Hollings – while Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg’s Bethlehem, from the musical Martin Guerre, brought rapturous applause from the near-full audience.
As one would expect much of the choir’s programme was Christmas fare with a selection of popular carols (with audience participation), while Eric Jones’ The Peacemakers was outstanding, as was Deck the Halls.
The excellent evening was rounded off with Goff Richards’ Schneewaltzer with much swaying in the Hall, and the choir and band combining in a joyous finale.