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