‘Twas the Night Before Christmas concert at Highcliffe Castle

Our Christmas concert at Highcliffe Castle on 4 December was full of festivities. There were Christmas tunes, readings and carols, as well as tinsel, sparkly hats and a surprise visit from Santa Claus who jumped out the chimney! Trumpet player Rob tells us more about the magical evening…

Highcliffe Castle is a great venue in which to invoke the spirit of Christmas, including having to wrap up warm!

Despite the pending joys of Christmas, carol concerts can often give rise to groans, especially when the band has to start rehearsing after the summer! It was therefore refreshing that Simon, our conductor, came up with a fantastic programme including new music, narrations, traditional carols as well as some old favourites.

Highlights at Highcliffe Castle

Christmas concert programme

Our ‘T Was the Night Before Christmas concert programme

There were quite a few highlights including readings by members of the band who revealed hidden talents. Dom told a story of Christmas pudding cannon balls hard enough to bring down walls. Sue gave a highly dramatic interpretation of the 12 Days of Christmas. The honking geese courtesy of the saxophone section was astounding! Bev told an amusing story of the Grinch. And last but not least we heard a tour-de-force from Ryan as he narrated the challenging piece ‘’T Was the Night Before Christmas’.

We encouraged the audience to participate during traditional carols. And also to take part in ‘A Starry Night’ with percussion jingles and rattles.

Band performing at Highcliffe Castle

Band feeling festive performing our Christmas concert at Highcliffe Castle

The second half opened with the band wearing Christmas hats and jazzing up the proceedings with a joyous ‘Jingle Bells in Dixie’. Not to be outdone, Simon took his jacket off to reveal a festive red waistcoat with a Santa Claus grinning on the back. Lizzie (sax player and vocalist) took the microphone for a professional rendition of ‘Grown-Up Christmas List’. From Simon’s ‘keep quiet’ actions, the band could still learn not to get carried away when accompanying!

One of the challenges facing the band was how to fit onto the limited staging. What I won’t forget is feeling the wind from Mary’s trombone slide passing close by my left ear-ole at various points. It certainly makes playing the trumpet whilst leaning right to avoid being stabbed more exciting! (Only joking Mary!).

A surprise visit from Santa Claus

Santa Claus jumped out the chimney

Santa Claus surprised us all and jumped out the chimney!

No Christmas would be complete however without a visit from Santa (courtesy of Chris) who popped up from the mock chimney to wish everyone a ‘Happy Christmas to All’ at the end. Hopefully the audience enjoyed this varied and entertaining programme as much as we enjoyed performing it.

Roll on the Christmas busking!

By Rob on trumpet