Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for December



Somehow Christmas isn’t the same without Festive Music, whether traditional carols from a choir or a Brass Band playing seasonal treats. If you are looking forward to hearing Christmas music and singing some favourite carols, you will not be disappointed with the small selection highlighted here.

This month offers the chance to hear the unique sound worlds created by Wind Instruments from both Medieval Times and our current day, Christmas music and much more!


The final two concerts in the Colchester Early Music series 2016 take place in the Medieval Church at Marks Tey where the distinctive sounds created by period wind instruments originally heard at dances and banquets in Medieval and Renaissances times will be heard.

The first concert is on Sunday 4 December when The King’s Lynn Waites presents music and readings from the Hall Books of Lynn  in a concert entitled “When th’ Instruments they can scarce hold: tales and tunes of a Wait’s life”. The following Sunday The York Waits end the Colchester Early Music 2016 concert series with seasonal music from the 12th-17th centuries on shawm, sackbuts, harp, gittern, fiddles, recorders, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy and rommelpot in “Godday my Lord Sire Christemass”. Both concerts start at 2.30pm in St Andrews Church, Mark Tey, near Colchester.

Tickets: £8 including refreshments. (01206 212466)

Back to modern day wind instruments and the East Anglian Single Reed Choir conducted by Anthony Bailey present a concert in St Osyth Church of both non-seasonal and seasonal music including the premiere of Anthony Bailey’s latest Christmas music, this year based around the Holly & the Ivy.  The word Choir is often associated with church choirs, large choirs but it is also the term used to describe an ensemble of wood wind instruments, either all of one type or in this case a combination of single reed instruments – the clarinet and saxophone. Sunday, 4 December, St Osyth Church at 6pm.

Tickets: £6 including refreshments available on the door

‘Christmas is Coming’ is the title of the recital on the magnificent Moot Hall organ with soprano soloist Lindsay Gowers accompanied by organist Ian Ray in an all-English programme of songs and organ music. Tuesday 6 December, 1-2pm in the Moot Hall, Colchester Town Hall.

Admission is free with a retiring collection

The following Sunday, Ian Ray will be back in the Moot Hall directing the Colchester Choral Society, a children’s semi-chorus singing from the gallery, a brass quintet, organist Dr Gillian Ward Russell and compere Terence Craig Waller in ‘Here Comes Christmas’.  December 11 at 4pm.

Tickets £8 including refreshments in the Mayor’s Parlour

‘A Symphonic Christmas’ with The Choir of St Mary’s, Maldon, accompanied by the Lewisham Concert Band, performs John Rutter’s Gloria, Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. Saturday, 3 December at 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Maldon.

Tickets: £12. (01621 856503)

On the same day, the Clacton Choral Society accompanied by the Kingfisher Sinfonietta present their Christmas concert with Handel’s Messiah (Part One) and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. In addition to these choral works the Kingfisher Sinfonietta who will also perform Winter from Vivaldi’s popular work, The Four Seasons, and in contrast Gabriel’s Oboe from the film, The Mission.

Ticket information (01255 221511)

Two concerts with little or no reference to seasonal music are also available this weekend. The Puffin Ensemble, Colchester Symphony Orchestra’s principal wind players, performs music by Strauss, Dvorak and Hummel in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester, tomorrow at 7.30pm. Tickets: £14 (01206 271128).  Then on Sunday afternoon the Kingfisher Sinfonietta returns to Lion Walk Church in Colchester with music by Vivaldi, Mozart and Frank Bridge.  . Sunday 4 December 2016 at 2.45pm.

Tickets: £12

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

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Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale