Christmas carols a plenty

Posted on 3rd December 2017 by


36 = Hark the Herald, 100 = Jingle Bells, 59 = O Little Town. Are you sure it is this version…. 3 verses with introductions, remember the repeat… so yes play the first phrase three times…how many verses?

These are the well known Brass Band carol conversations you hear on every stand at this time of year. You have those who know the books off by heart and see it as a challenge to work out the number or the carol before the others find it, you have those who are looking at their parts for the first time and can’t imagine how all those notes are going to fit and then you have those who know them almost off by heart and add the odd twiddle here and there just to keep it interesting as you play Hark The Herald for what seems like the 100th time in the last few weeks.

Brass Bands playing carols at Christmas is something that has remained a long standing tradition. The local Salvation Army bands do an amazing job at this time of year raising thousands to support their¬† work throughout the year, other local brass bands play at Christmas light switch ones and Victorian Fayres, Dickensian Festivals and for us it is Skipton’s Christmas market. There are Christmas Concerts everywhere , with arrangements of some of the classics and also those with a modern twist and hidden in there are always a few sleigh bells. We’ve also played in the magnificent setting of Malham Cove at our annual outdoor Christmas Carol concert and the weather and the atmosphere and the hundreds of people who came – along with the great organisation from the National Trust made this another event to remember and we are already looking forward to returning next year. The sound of a Brass Band while people are out shopping makes people stop in their tracks and just listen for a moment. Seeing a Brass Band playing under a lamppost as the Christmas Card image often depicts is something that is not such a common sight these days but when you do see one for us a players it often brings back memories of banding in the past when that was what we did in the run up to Christmas.

Skipton’s Christmas carolling has so far involved two local light switch-ons, one open air Carol Concert at Malham Cove and today sees us playing at the first of the Christmas Markets in Skipton. We also have a session at Keelham Farm, a carol singing event at a local nursing home, another Christmas Market in Skipton,¬† the ‘Light Up A Life’ carol service at Holy Trinity Church where we will be playing alongside the ‘Rock up and Sing’ Skipton choir at a carol service for Martin House, a carol service for another local church, playing for the local Mason’s Christmas party and finally a fun filled frenzy of a concert in Addingham Village Hall. It is a busy time for us all but a time we also wouldn’t want to miss as we know we are playing our part in a long standing tradition.


We hope to see many of you out and about over the festive period and from all of us at Skipton Brass we wish you all …

“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”