Norfolk Christmas carols and concerts 2016: The sounds of the season on offer across the region

The EDP Festival of Carols at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich. Picture: Simon Finlay

The EDP Festival of Carols at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

There is nothing more likely to lift the Christmas spirits than a carol concert or the jingle of festive songs. And there are plenty of places in the region to enjoy seasonal sounds in the run up to Christmas.

The always hugely popular EDP Festival of Carols with the festival choir in full voice. Picture: Sim

The always hugely popular EDP Festival of Carols with the festival choir in full voice. Picture: Simon Finlay - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

• EDP Festival of Carols

St Andrews Hall, Norwich, December 7, 7.15pm, £7.50, 01603 628311, www.edp24.co.uk/carols

It is one of the Eastern Daily Press' great seasonal traditions – a night full of carols and festive cheer to celebrate the spirit of Christmas. Over the years thousands of readers have joined us at this special event and this year's concert will again take place at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich. Musical director Carole Tims, who is overseeing her 30th festival, this year, has again included a special mix of carols, festive music and readings. The EDP Festival Choir, Broadland Youth Choir and Cawston Band will all be performing and the audience will also be invited to join in with lots of the carols. Chris Bailey will be hosting and the blessing will be given by the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges. The 2016 concert will once again be raising funds for the EDP We Care Appeal: The Norfolk Millennium Trust for Carers. No tickets on the door.


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• Carols by Candlelight

Norwich Playhouse, December 9, 7.30pm, £19.50, 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk/The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, December 22, 7.30pm, £19.50, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

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The Locrian Ensemble's annual Christmas shows are always a hot ticket. In lavish period costume, and in front of an evocative candlelit setting, these charismatic performers, who this year could be heard playing on Debbie Wiseman's score for Wolf Hall, perform favourites including carols, string medleys of familiar Christmas tunes, and seasonal surprises. They are joined by the evergreen Jill Washington, West End star soprano of Phantom of the Opera, who sings tunes from Handel's Messiah to White Christmas, accompanied by shimmering strings and thrilling harp playing. A magical evening to get into the true spirit of Christmas

Carols by Candlelight with The Locrian Ensemble in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Submitted

Carols by Candlelight with The Locrian Ensemble in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

• Cantamus Christmas Concert

St Margaret's Church, Thorpe Market, December 9, 7pm, £8, 01263 833847, cantamussingers@gmail.com.

Cantamus Choir present their candle-lit Christmas Concert in Thorpe Market led by their new director of music, Philip Adams. The programme will include carols from early plainsong through the English and European mediaeval period, to the early carols of 18th century America. There will also be a Christmas Mass setting based on ancient elements of Slovak folk music, and European baroque music, plus Christmas readings and congregational carols. There will be a chance for a glass of mulled wine during the interval.

• Norfolk Fellowship Brass Christmas Concert

Great Yarmouth Town Hall, December 9, 7.30pm, £10, 01493 846125, www.great-yarmouth.co.uk

Norfolk Fellowship Brass Band will be performing a Christmas Concert in aid of the Mayor of Great Yarmouth's chosen charities Sunbeams and Palliative Care East. Tickets include a Christmas tipple and a mince pie.

Carols at Christmas concert in St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich. Picture: Steve Adams

Carols at Christmas concert in St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

• Cathedral Choir Christmas

Norwich Cathedral, December 9, 7.30pm, £18-£12, £5 under-18s in side isles, 01603 628319, www.cathedral.org.uk

The boy and girl choristers and gentlemen of Norwich Cathedral Choir give a festive celebration with carols for choir and audience. A feast of Christmas music both

sacred and secular.

• Festival of Carols

Ely Cathedral, December 9, 7.15pm, £30-£10, 01353 660349, box.office@elycathedral.org

A spectacular evening in celebration of Christmas with music by the Choristers and Gentlemen of Ely Cathedral Choir, The Ely Imps and special guest, Laura Wright, interspersed with seasonal readings and poems. Supported by The Cambridgeshire Freemasons in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Carols and Capers with Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band. Picture: Submitted

Carols and Capers with Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

• Godday My Lord Sire Christemass

All Saints Church, King's Lynn, December 10, 3.30pm, £12 (310 cons), £10 children, 01206 212466, theyorkwaits.org.uk/performances

Living history band playing period street music, The York Waits and mezzo SopranoDeborah Catterall present a programme of Christmas music from the 12th to 17th centuries on shawms and sackbuts, harp, gitter, fiddles, recorders, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, a rommelpot and many more besides. Tickets also available on the door.

• Christmas Noel

St Michael and All Angels, Barton Turf, December 10, 7.30pm, £8, £4 children, 01603 760669

Barton Turf Choral Society present a varied Christmas concert. The programme of Christmas music will feature Charpentier's Messe de Minuit de Noel and traditional carols. This will be followed by seasonal refreshments. The audience will be invited to join the choir to sing. Tickets sold at the door.

• Celebrate Christmas in Style

Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, December 10, 8pm, £65, 01603 763111, www.open247.org.uk

Celebrate Christmas in style with Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra. The French singer and guitarist fronts two of the leading vintage dance music ensembles at work in Europe today who revel in the nostalgia and elegance of a bygone era, performing a repertoire consisting of the most beautiful and uplifting songs from the 1920s, 30s and 40s and originals in the same nostalgic style. This special concert will Christmas dinner, casino, vintage photobooth and classic cocktails.

• Joyful Christmas Concert

Attleborough Church, December 10, 7.30pm, 01953 453985, wymondhamchoralsociety.org.uk

Wymondham Choral Society gives their Christmas Concert. Vivaldi Gloria, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music and seasonal music with guests soprano Hannah Long soprano and mezzo soprano Sarah Parkinson. A variety of carols with some singing. Tickets available from Nuts 'n' Bolts, Church Street, Attleborough.

• Mid-Norfolk Singers

All Saints Church, Swanton Morley, December 10, 7.30pm, £10, £6 under-16s, www.midnorfolksingers.org.uk

In their 70th year, Mid-Norfolk Singers hold their Christmas concert, performing this year audience based Christmas music.

• On the Way to Bethlehem

St Nicholas Parish Church, North Walsham, December 10, 7pm, £5, under-16s free, 01692 218060

Fresh from a concert tour of Barcelona, where it performed to over 1,500 people in four days, the choir of St Nicholas, North Walsham, stage their seasonal spectacular, featuring familiar works from Christmases past performed by young voices. Well loved carols for all to sing, through to more contemporary offerings and standards, and readings of Christmas poetry, this year being offered by members of a new youth theatre company set up by Joe Ballard. Tickets on the door or in advance from Arts North Norfolk, 1 Market Place, North Walsham, or by from the church parish office.

• Christmas Concert

Mile Cross Methodist Church, Aylsham Road, Norwich, December 10, 7.30pm, £7.50 at the door or 01603 408393, www.norwichphoenixmalevoicechoir.com

Norwich-based Phoenix Male Voice Choir stage their Christmas concert featuring a full programme of festive carols and seasonal male voice song with accompanist Jason Lambert.

• The Twelve Days of Christmas

Holkham Hall, December 10-11, 7pm, £38, 01328 713111, www.holkham.co.uk

Diva Opera return to Holkham with their new Christmas show, follows the fortunes of three gentlemen, all of whom are suitors of the same young lady, Frederica, in the days leading to Christmas. Each believes he will make the ideal husband and resolves to win her heart though the quality of the Christmas gifts he presents to her. As each learns of his rival's gifts, he must raise the stakes to stay in first place and a war of gifts ensues. Expect a feast of popular arias, songs and carols follows this comical tale of competitive giving to a surprising and heart warming conclusion starring Richard Suart, David Stephenson, Ashley Catling, Catriona Clark and Tereza Gevorgyan.

• Christmas Festival

St Andrews Hall, Norwich, December 11, 3pm, £10-£8, £5 under-18s, 01603 628319, norwichpopsorchestra.co.uk

Norwich Pops Orchestra offers up a festive collection of Christmas music from film, television and theatre. Featuring well-known tunes such as Howard Blake's haunting Walking in the Air from The Snowman, popular melodies from Disney's hit animation, Frozen along with great orchestral music from Nigel Hesse, Leroy Anderson, Irving Berlin and John Williams. They also welcome as part of our Christmas concert,The Pops Youth Chorus, a collective of students from local Norfolk schools, who will be performing there world premiere of a work written by some of the music students at Notre Dame High School.

• Christmas Cheer

The Guildhall, Thetford, December 14, 7.30pm, £8, leapinghare.org/leaping-hare-box-office

Thetford Singers' seasonal production for 2016 is Christmas Cheer. It is sure to be an evening will feature beautiful uplifting music with audience carols with musical director Chris Parsons and Pip Jepson on piano.

• Coastal Singers

Langham Parish Church, December 14, 7pm, admission free

Coastal Singers and friends will be Langham Parish Church for this evening of Christmas entertainment, including soprano Meg Starling, with a chance to sing along to favourites, old and new, from White Christmas to Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. Festive refreshments will be available. Children are particularly welcome.

• UEA Choir Christmas

St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cathedral, Norwich, December 14, 7.30pm, £9 (£6 cons), £6 students, 01603 628319, uea.ac.uk/music-centre/events/

The 100-strong UEA Choir, under the direction of Tom Primrose, host their traditional Christmas carol concert with festive favourites, such as Ding Dong! Merrily on High and Twelve Days of Christmas, in the atmospheric setting of Norwich's Roman Catholic Cathedral, with several opportunities for the audience to join the choir in many well-loved carols.

• Sheringham Carol Concert

St Peter's Church, Sheringham, December 15, 7.30pm, £5 on door

Sheringham's annual festive musical extravaganza, a chance to sing your favourite carols. Those taking part usually include Sheringham Salvation Army Band, choirs from the various churches and many others. The church is always packed for this popular event, and proceeds from will be shared between The Stable Door Housing Association and the Beach Life. Be early for a good seat!

• Christmas Brass

Beccles Public Hall, December 16, 7.30pm, £8 (£7 cons), 01502 770060, www.becclespublichall.org.uk

Great Yarmouth Brass Band has become a real favourite and Christmas tradition at Beccles Public Hall. Join them again for carols and classics from their wide repertoire.

• Handel's Messiah by Candlelight

Norwich Cathedral, December 17, 7.30pm, £20-£12, £5 under-18s in side isles, 01603 628319, www.cathedral.org.uk

Norwich Cathedral Chamber Choir joins with Norwich Baroque for an unmissable candlelit performance of Handel's ever-popular masterpiece, Messiah. Under conductor Ashley Grote, the concert will feature soprano Katherine Crompton, mezzo soprano Clare McCaldin, tenor William Blake and bass singer Edward Grint.

• Christmas Jazz Train

Mid-Norfolk Railway, December 17, 7.30pm, £14, £10 children, 01362 690633, www.mnr.org.uk

All aboard this Christmas special for a journey of festive tunes on the jazz train, with live music from the Dixieland Trio on board the train, and with drinks served from the onboard Railcar Bar, Departing from Dereham Station, it makes an excellent way to get into the festive spirit. Early booking essential.

• Candlelit Christmas Concert

St Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich, December 17, 6pm, £6 (£4 cons), £18 family, 01603 626414, ticketsource.co.uk/vivavocesingers

Viva Voce Singers, Norwich-based chamber choir, hold their traditional candle-lit Christmas concert in the splendid St Peter Mancroft, this year in aid of MAP, the young people's advice and counselling charity.

• BBC Big Band

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, December 17, 7.30pm, £27-£5.50, 01728 687110, www.aldeburgh.co.uk

The acclaimed BBC Big Band return to Snape for a fun-filled programme of festive favourites with a twist of swing. On the programme are big band settings of some of the most popular yuletide numbers, such as Let It Snow, Baby It's Cold Outside, Santa Baby, and Mel Tormé's The Christmas Song, plus a selection of sparkling big band classics to warm you up on a winter's night. Performers include vocalists Jeff Hooper and Emer McParland, while Barry Forgie conducts.

• Swan & Dyer's Winter Warmer

The Sackhouse, Wells, December 18, 7.30pm, £10 (£9 cons), £5 student, 01328 710193, www.granarytheatre.co.uk

Swan & Dyer's Winter Warmer Pick & Mix will appeal to those who associate Christmas with carols, singing, dancing and the joy of the season. Multi-instrumentalists and storytellers Vicki and Jonny's show will brings together classic Christmas carols, winter stories and Scandinavian Christmas treats. Fun and full of chorus songs that you'll know and stories that you probably won't.

• Book Street Band Christmas

64 Park Lane , Norwich, December 18, 6.30pm, £25, £5 students under-25, 01603 621169, www.norwichchambermusic.co.uk

Since its formation in 1996 by baroque cellist Tatty Theo, the award-winning Brook Street Band has established itself as one of the country's foremost interpreters of Handel's music. Their albums and performances have received high critical acclaim, with debut recording, Handel Oxford Water Music, selected as Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice. Here they visit for a special festive performance.

• The Snowman

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, December 18, 2pm/4pm, £15, £7.50 under-25s, 01728 687110, www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Film screening of the animated, much loved Christmas classic complete with live orchestra. Watching The Snowman on a big screen is a treat in itself and seeing an orchestra perform Walking in the Air live is absolutely magical. And as an extra treat, alongside The Snowman, the event will also the premiere of The Land of Counterpane, a spellbinding animated film with children's choir, narrator and live orchestra based on Robert Louis Stevenson's poems charting his childhood flights of fancy. Performed by the National Youth Girls' Choir of Great Britain and The Suffolk Ensemble.

• Mixed Voice Xmas Show

Open, Bank Plain, Norwich, December 19-21, 7.30pm, £18-£55, 01603 763111, www.open247.org.uk

With a professional band and 100 of the best singers and dancers in the region, Mixed Voice will again be presenting a brand new spectacle full of Christmas magic for the whole family. Some of your favourite festive songs as well as a few surprises in a specatular show and an evening full of wonder and a musical journey through the Christmas songbook.

• Carols & Capers

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, December 20, 8pm, £22.50, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

Following the hugely popular 25th anniversary Christmas tour, renowned folk singer Maddy Prior joins up once again with the Carnival Band during the festive season for their unique celebratory show. Together, they mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour putting their inimitable stamps on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare.

• Phil's Family Christmas

St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, December 20, 7.30pm, £15-£7, 01603 628319, www. norwichphil.org.uk

Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra's 100-strong chorus, conducted by David Dunnett, celebrate the festive season with a sparkling selection of old favourites, new arrangements, sing-along carols and a few surprises. This concert, with special guests, includes carols for choir and audience. Book quick.

• Christmas Ceilidh

Assembly House, Norwich, December 22, 8pm, £13-£9, 01603 630000, assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk

A fun-filled festive evening that proves popular every year filled with ceilidh dances with Syzewell Gap ceilidh band and French and European dance from DanSons in the beautiful surroundings of Norwich Assembly House ballrooom. No experience is necessary as the dances are explained in advance by the caller and no partner required.

• Panto Carol Service

St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, December 23, 11am, admission free

Special carol service with the cast of the Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime Jack and The Beanstalk. Youngsters from the cast in full voice. The Bishop of Norwich will be in attendance. All welcome.

• Albion Christmas Band

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, December 23, 8pm, £18, 01284 758000, www.theapex.co.uk

The Albion Christmas Show is now into its 18th year. Featuring the combined talents of Simon Nicol (Fairport Convention), Kellie While (Albion Band) Simon Care (Edward II) and the Guvnor himself, Ashley Hutchings, this show takes you on a guided tour through the Christmas customs of Britain: an evening of traditional English Christmas music, seasonal carols, spoken word, humorous readings and dance.

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