#letthecultureshine: Win tickets to the Royal Pavilion

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Christmas Concerts to Book Ahead

2 December 2021 to 21 December 2021 london

We’re big fans of the festive season here at Culture Calling however, even by our standards (tinsel up at midnight on 1 December!) we know this is a little early. This year though, more than ever, we reckon it’s going to be important to book ahead for the big Christmas concerts. With that in mind, we wanted to run through some of the highlights that have already been announced, so you can get in early and save a seat for you and your loved ones.

We’ll start in Trafalgar Square for the lighting of London’s famous Norwegian Christmas Tree, at 7:30pm on 2 December. It’s a lovely moment, and a great way to get in the spirit by wrapping up warm and listening to St. Martin’s Voices (the house choir from neighbouring St. Martin in the Fields) sing a selection of carols and choral numbers accompanied by a brass band. Who knows, there may even be warm mince pies and mulled wine to boot. If that whets your appetite for carols then you can fully immerse yourself in Carols by Candlelight, part of Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas Festival at the Barbican Centre on 19 December. A fully candle-lit stage, and performers in 18th Century dress, make for a truly memorable evening.

If you’re anything like us, cosying down to a Christmas movie has been a treat to look forward to from an early age - and the soundtracks from our favourite films have stuck with us ever since. The Southbank Centre obviously agree, and they’re presenting Christmas at the Movies on 12 December to bring all the film-fanatics together under one roof. With scores from E.T., Miracle on 34th Street, Nightmare Before Christmas and many more - all performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra - it’s an evening with something for everyone. With that in mind, one of the all-time classics, The Snowman, is being screened at Cadogan Hall on 21 December accompanied by a live orchestra - and we can't wait. Both these concerts are family-friendly afternoon events - with two screenings of The Snowman - so it’s a great opportunity to bring any little ones along and kick-start a life-long love affair with the Christmas movie.

It’s not all carols and choirs though - and if you fancy something with a touch more swing then Guy Barker’s Big Band Christmas, playing at the Royal Albert Hall on 10 December, is the show for you. Barker’s band have become something of a seasonal highlight - this is their 6th year running - and, once you’ve been, it’s easy to see why. The band certainly don’t pull their punches, injecting well-known tunes with dangerously high levels of swing and introducing lesser-known songs and new favourites into the mix. With special guests galore, this is easily the funkiest and most toe-tappingly tuneful concert you’re likely to see this Christmas. In a similar vein, Christmas with The Puppini Sisters sees the inimitable trio host a special festive show at Union Chapel on 20 December. Their close harmonies, fresh arrangements and infectious energy are just the tonic for livening up the traditional Christmas repertoire. It’s almost guaranteed to leave you grinning till new year.

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