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Sparkling line-up of world class musicians at Fanfare for Christmas

12 Dec 2019

Renowned international conductor, Russell Gray, will be taking the baton in the Royal Hall, Harrogate on Saturday 21 December when the country’s top brass players, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band make a welcome return for their popular festive concerts, ‘Fanfare for Christmas’, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm with the chorus of Harrogate Gilbert & Sullivan Society.

 

Russell Gray is an international conductor in great demand across the UK and Europe and is himself a cornet virtuoso and former member of the Black Dyke Band. He has recently appeared as a conductor to great acclaim at the Royal Albert Hall (London), Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Grieg Hall (Bergen), the Stravinsky Hall (Montreux) and the Sydney Opera House among many professional engagements.

 

A proud Scot, Russell said he was delighted to be coming to Harrogate to conduct the Yorkshire champions, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band. “It’s always a great pleasure working with one of the most famous Brass Bands in the world” said Russell. “I’m really looking forward to presenting our eclectic program of festive music to suite all tastes.”

 

The now traditional Christmas concert promises sparkling festive favourites, music from the musicals and superlative musicianship from top professional brass players including virtuoso bass trombonist, Steve Lomas (watch out for his amazing ‘Frosty the Snowman!’),  New Zealand champion cornet player, Kyle Lawson, flugelhorn player, Mike Eccles and euphonium legend, Chris Robertson.

 

This year, with the Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan singers, the B&R will join forces for some beautiful Christmas carols, as well as a unique medley of music from one of the Gilbert and Sullivan favourites, The Mikado.  The choir will also be singing music from a more modern stage musical, Showboat, joining with the band for Gordon Langford’s ‘Christmas Fantasy’ as well as singing some classic Christmas choral music by the likes of John Rutter, Peter Warlock, and David Wilcocks. And local young players, the Tewit Youth Band will be making a guest appearance.

 

There is a real family feel to the Royal Hall Christmas Concerts this year – tickets for children under 16 are free if accompanied by a paying adult, and the audience will be get a chance to join with the choir and band in one or two Christmas carols.

 

The two Royal Hall concerts on Saturday December 21 at the Royal Hall are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm Tickets are £16.50 (free for children under 16) with the usual concessions including free tickets for carers. They can be booked in person at the Harrogate Theatre Box Office, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF, by calling 01423 502 116  or online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk

Tewit’s young brass players looking forward to 'Fanfare for Christmas'

21 Nov 2019

As the young brass players of the award winning Tewit Youth Band look forward to Christmas, rehearsals are in full swing for their guest appearance at one of Harrogate’s favourite annual concerts, ‘Fanfare for Christmas’, with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band and Harrogate Gilbert & Sullivan Society at  the town’s Royal Hall on  Saturday 21 December.

 

The young players of the Junior and Intermediate bands are getting excited at the prospect of joining their musical heroes on stage with the Juniors Band playing during the matinee at 2.30pm and the Intermediate Band performing in the evening concert at 7.30pm.

The world famous Brighouse & Rastrick Band are the 2019 Yorkshire champions and for the two youth bands who range in age from 6 to 14 it is a great honour to join them on the Royal Hall stage. 

 

But for two of the young performers the concert has caused some amusement in the family. Six-year-old Esme Marshall who plays percussion (pictured in the foreground with the Junior band) and her sister Bella, (8), are the daughters of Richard Marshall, the principal cornet player of the Black Dyke Band, seen as the Brighouse and Rastrick’s main rival in the world of brass playing. Esme and Bella’s mum, Rebecca Marshall, who herself plays cornet in the City of Bradford Brass Band, said, “I think when we heard that the children’s first big concert would be with the Brighouse and Rastrick we just found it quite funny. It is very ironic.”  But she adds, the girls are really looking forward to it. “They get really excited playing in a band and being part of a team.”

 

It is the third year that the Tewit brass players have been invited to make a guest appearance and Musical Director of the Junior Band, Alan Briggs said it is a great experience for the players. Two members of the Intermediate Band who played last year, Amelia and Ella said, “We were really small then but it was massive. The Brighouse & Rastrick players were really kind, they were really helpful because they sat in with us, one in each section and joined in.”

 

There is a real family feel to the Royal Hall Christmas Concerts this year – tickets for children under 16 are free if accompanied by a paying adult, and the audience will be get a chance to join with the choir and band in two Christmas carols.

 

The Brighouse & Rastrick Band are well known for their superlative musicianship and will be filling the magnificent Royal Hall with their magical arrangements of the Christmas classics and music from the movies. They are joined by the singers of Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society, joining forces for some beautiful Christmas carols, music from the Mikado and some classic Christmas choral music.

 

The two Royal Hall concerts on Saturday December 21 at the Royal Hall are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm Tickets are £16.50 (free for children under 16) with the usual concessions including free tickets for carers. They can be booked in person at the Harrogate Theatre Box Office, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF, by calling 01423 502 116  or online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk

Festive surprises at the Royal Hall …and children go free!

12 Nov 2019

A firm favourite in Harrogate’s Christmas calendar is the annual gala concert at the Royal Hall given by the world-famous Brighouse and Rastrick band. This year the band have some festive surprises up their sleeve when they make their welcome return for ‘Fanfare for Christmas’ at the Royal Hall on Saturday 21 December with two performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

 

The renowned band are well known for their superlative musicianship and will be filling the magnificent Royal Hall with their magical arrangements of the Christmas classics and music from the movies. They are joined by the singers of Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society, joining forces for some beautiful Christmas carols, as well as a unique medley of music from one of the Gilbert and Sullivan favourites, The Mikado.  The choir will also be singing music from a more modern stage musical, Showboat, joining with the band for Gordon Langford’s ‘Christmas Fantasy’ as well as singing some classic Christmas choral music by the likes of John Rutter, Peter Warlock, and David Wilcocks.

 

This year’s matinee and evening concerts have the added local ingredient of an appearance from Harrogate’s own Tewit Youth Band, coming up on stage in the second half to join their musical heroes. The Junior band will performing in the matinee performance with the Intermediate band taking part in the evening concert.

 

There is a real family feel to the Royal Hall Christmas Concerts this year – tickets for children under 16 are free if accompanied by a paying adult, and the audience will be get a chance to join with the choir and band in two Christmas carols.

 

The two Royal Hall concerts on Saturday December 21 at the Royal Hall are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm Tickets are £16.50 (free for children under 16) with the usual concessions including free tickets for carers. They can be booked in person at the Harrogate Theatre Box Office, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF, by calling 01423 502 116  or online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk

Knaresborough Lions support as G&S classic comic opera staged at Frazer Theatre

18 Mar 2019

Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society have received the support and backing of the Knaresborough Lions as they bring their latest magical production, ‘Iolanthe’, to the Frazer Theatre this May.

One of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most popular comic-operas, with the emphasis firmly on the comical, Iolanthe is being staged from Thursday 9 May to Saturday 11 May with performances at 7.30pm each evening and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. It’s a first for Harrogate G&S and they have received the support of the Knaresborough Lions in publicising the show throughout the town.

Described as a ‘magical musical fantasy’, Iolanthe is Gilbert & Sullivan at their sublime and satirical best.  The world of politics and the world of fairy-tales collide in this funny and irreverent send-up of parliament, set to some of the most beautiful music ever written by Sir Arthur Sullivan. The excellent cast includes former Welsh National Opera baritone, Donald Stephenson, (Lord Mountarrarat) as well as (pictured) Liz Kelley as the Fairy Queen, and Philip Jennings as the Lord Chancellor.

Also pictured, coming under the spell of the Fairy Queen are Knaresborough Lions members, (l to r) Alan Gilbert, Carole Reid, Alwyn Davies, Amanda George, Bob Godsell (Lions’ President) and Pam Godsell. The Lions is a voluntary group which serves the communities of Knaresborough, Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge. It supports local charities, projects and individuals in need, using funds raised from putting on the Great Knaresborough Bed Race and the Feva Beer Festival, as well as many other activities.

Says Bob Godsell, President of Knaresborough Lions, “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society and to welcome them to Knaresborough. The Lions will be supporting the society by helping to publicise the show, while HGSS in turn are using the production as an opportunity to publicise the Knaresborough Lions and raise funds for the causes they support.”

Tickets for the show are £12 , available online at  www.frazertheatre.co.uk/events, from Pear Records, 24 High St, Knaresborough or by calling 01765 676561 or 07788 875526.

Junior brass players relishing the chance to play with musical heroes

13 Nov 2018

Harrogate’s Tewit Youth and Junior Bands are relishing the opportunity to play with their musical heroes when the Brighouse & Rastrick return to the Royal Hall on Saturday December 22nd for ‘Fanfare for Christmas’ their ever popular annual Christmas concerts.

 

After getting a taste of playing with the champions last year, this year the Junior Band will get the chance to come on stage during the afternoon matinee performance, while the older Tewit Intermediate Band will join with the undisputed Brass Band masters for the 7.30pm performance.

 

The Junior and Intermediate bands are two of four groups in the Tewit Youth Band organisation which also includes a Senior and a Training Band with ages ranging from 17 right down to 6 years old. Tewit Junior Band  are under the baton of MD Allan Briggs, while the Intermediate Band will be conducted by MD  Martin Hall.

 

Andy Merckel of the Tewit Youth Band said, "We are really delighted to have been invited to such a popular Christmas concert and for the band to be able to play on the same stage as the amazing Brighouse and Rastrick Band is such a brilliant experience.

 

“They are all practising extra hard and really looking forward to, what should be a fabulous occasion!”

 

This year’s ‘Fanfare for Christmas’ Concerts  at 2.30pm and 7.30pm promise to be a dazzling tour de force of popular Christmas favourites and some new additions.

 

The Brighouse and Rastrick Band has attracted a formidable reputation for highly entertaining concerts for both the general public and brass band connoisseur.  In recent years they have worked with artists and actors such as Gareth Malone and Simon Callow to produce new Christmas albums, bringing fresh and often spectacular Christmas arrangements to the Harrogate stage.

 

Once again the award winning band will team up with the Harrogate Gilbert and Sullivan Society and among the highlights will be a selection of Christmas movie and musical  favourites for band and choir as well as some beautiful Christmas carol arrangements - and as always a selection of Gilbert and Sullivan (music from 'Iolanthe' accompanied by the band) and as always some community carol singing to get in the Christmas mood.

 

There is a real family feel to the Royal Hall Christmas Concerts this year  and as a special offer,  tickets are free for all accompanied children under 16.

 

Fanfare for Christmas is staged at the Royal Hall on Saturday December 22  at 2.30pm and 7.30pm . Tickets at £16.50 with concessions (and those free children’s tickets!) can be booked in person at the Harrogate Theatre Box Office, Oxford Street, Harrogate, HG1 1QF, by calling 01423 502 116  or online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk

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