The twelve shows of Christmas: Music old and new features in festive favourite

Twelve musical events over nine days will spread festive cheer as a popular Christmas festival returns.

The York Early Music Christmas Festival promises to be a bumper event, featuring traditional favourites and new attractions.

Organised as ever by the National Centre For Early Music, the programme brings a total of more than 24 hours of uplifting early music and performance.

It opens on Friday 8th December and features…

  • the warm and sensual tones of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas (Fri 8th)
  • the popular Christmas presence of the Yorkshire Bach Choir (Sat 9th)
  • and the well-loved and luscious voices of Joglaresa (Mon 11th)

There’s also a focus on York talent with The Ebor Singers (Tue 12th) and The York Waits (Wed 13th). And singers can find their own voice during a participatory choral workshop, led by Alexander Kyle (Sat 9th).

Intimate candlelit venue

New this year: Chiaroscuro String Quartet

The performances are mainly held in the intimate candlelit surroundings of the NCEM’s York home in St Margaret’s Church, off Walmgate, and there are mince pies provided at most concerts, providing an additional festive treat.

NCEM, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL

Fri Dec 8-Sat Dec 16

£5-£30

01904 658338

More details

Director of the centre Delma Tomlin said: “We’re rounding off our marvellous anniversary year with a bumper Christmas festival, which this year sees more events, days and music than the past few years.

“We’ve programmed festival favourites, such as Joglaresa, who never fail to draw the audiences, but we are welcoming new and lovely musical performances also, such as Chiaroscuro String Quartet.

Joglaresa’s Christmas concerts are a romp through the carols of Christmas past

“The Christmas Festival is a lovely time of year, and it’s always heartening to see the engaging audiences taking time out to let themselves be absorbed by the ensembles.

“We’re also pleased to be hosting the latest from our eeemerging residency, Concerto de Margherita. It’s set to be another enjoyable festival and a wonderful end to rather a fulfilling and busy year.”

If you are under 35 or a full-time student you can purchase a £5 ticket for concerts this year. These are limited and available on a first come first served basis, and ID is needed at collection. More info and T&Cs here