Michael Cross: Why music plays a big part in the season’s festivities

Peterborough Cathedral Choir
Peterborough Cathedral Choir

It’s Advent and with the run up to Christmas now officially begun, music will play an important part in the festivities over the coming weeks with the return of all those hits from bygone years - and hopefully some new ones too. Seasonal songs and music will provide the energy and excitement at parties and events across the city, filling us (well, most of us) with Christmas spirit.

Many schools in Peterborough are busy rehearsing concerts and Nativity Plays using music and song as a vital part of the celebration of Christmas and Peterborough Cathedral’s choir is entering one of its busiest times of the year.

Christmas music at the Cathedral has always played a special part of my festive programme and if you’ve never attended a cathedral service or event, then December has a wealth of great opportunities to experience the Cathedral choir (and others) performing music and song in a setting that represents the very heart of the holiday season.

Visit the Cathedral website for more information - www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk.

There’s also a fabulous festive concert to enjoy at the Broadway Theatre on 18 th December with Peterborough Male Voice Choir, Peterborough Voices, Peterborough Youth Choir and Peterborough Festival Orchestra presenting Christmas Magic on Sunday 18 December (3pm and 7.30pm). Tickets available from the Peterborough Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street or online at www.peterboroughmvchoir.org.uk.

Whatever part music plays in your Christmas this year, please give a thought to those producing that sound – the singers and musicians whose skills provide so much pleasure and enjoyment and whose talents add so much to our celebrations and festive cheer.

Peterborough Music Hub is working with local children and young people to support music making for the future and 2017 has some wonderful opportunities coming up to achieve that goal.

Local young songwriters and composers can enter the New Youth Music Showcase, held at the Key Theatre on Friday, March 17. Competition rules, details, entry fee information and online applications can be made at www.peterboroughmusicfestival.org.uk. The deadline for entries is January 31, 2017.

There’s also a great chance in January to find out more about the Peterborough Centre for Young Musicians, exploring the facilities and experiencing what a Saturday at PCYM is like, at the next PCYM Open Day on Saturday, January 21, at Ormiston Bushfield Academy, Ortongate, Peterborough, PE2 5RQ.

PCYM is open to applicants aged between 7-18 years. For further details – visit www.pcym.org.uk.

Peterborough Music Hub is also working with the Peterborough Youth Orchestra to bring a special weekend workshop on Saturday, February 18, and Sunday, February 19. Attendees will be working on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Applications are welcome from orchestral musicians under 19 years of age, playing at Grade 5 standard and above. Places are limited and are offered free. Email musichub@peterborough.gov.uk or visit www.peterboroughmusichub.org.uk for an application form.

May your Christmas be filled with great music and may you be in good voice this New Year for the annual rendition of Auld Lang Syne!

Michael Cross is Peterborough Music Hub Programme Co-ordinator.