If the preparations for Christmas are beginning to feel a touch stressful, now’s the time to take a musical break.
For Huddersfield Choral Society, the festive season starts with its very own Christmas party. And yes, you are all invited.
The singers have a pretty serious musical agenda at this time of year with two performances of Handel’s glorious oratorio, Messiah scheduled for December 17 and 18 in Huddersfield Town Hall.
But first, on Friday, December 13, the Choral’s singers will celebrate in a different festive style with a Christmas Concert for brass and voices packed with all the festive musical goodies that we all love.
They are delighted that this year, they will be joined by one of the country’s leading bands, one of the most famous names in banding – Black Dyke Band.
The Choral’s singers will be conducted by the man they see every week in rehearsal – their chorus-master Joseph Cullen.
The choir has a well earned reputation as the country’s leading Choral society and Joseph is the man who polishes those singing skills in rehearsals.
Joseph has a remarkable music CV – he’s a double Grammy award-winning conductor, composer and recitalist.
He’s also one of the country’s leading choral conductors, his work with both Huddersfield Choral Society and with the London Symphony Chorus has brought him much acclaim.
Add to that, a real talent for working with people and there’s little wonder that his skills are in such demand.
He will though be handing the baton over during part of the concert when Dr Nicholas Childs takes over to conduct the band.
And he’s handing over to a musician who is admired throughout the brass band world.
Dr Childs is Black Dyke’s Principal Conductor and Director of Music and also a virtuoso euphonium player.
He has taken Black Dyke to many championship titles and in addition to continuing contest successes, he has led the band in a series of innovative concerts and world premières of major works for brass band with a variety of soloists and musical combinations.
In 2012 the band became European Champion Band for the twelfth time. It has won the British Open Championships 29 times and the National Championship of Great Britain on 22 occasions.
In 2009 and again in 2011, 2012 and 2013, they became Champion Band at the English National Championships. And if all of that were not enough, Black Dyke is the most recorded band in the world with over 350 recordings and growing every year.
The concert programme will feature Christmas music old and new. Don’t be surprised if you hear an arrangement by one Joseph Cullen, because he’s charmed many audiences with arrangements at previous Christmas concerts.
This year, the concert presenter will be another well-known musical name, Simon Lindley who will also be the organist.
Dr Lindley is organist of Leeds Minster and Leeds Town Hall.
The concert begins at 7.30pm.