A CRACKER OF A CHRISTMAS SEASON AT TOWN HALL & SYMPHONY HALL

TOWNHALLANDSYMPHONYHALL, BIRMINGHAM
2 DECEMBER 2009 – 3 JANUARY 2010

A 21-date Gruffalo residency, popular soprano Lesley Garrett and singer songwriter Scott Matthews are just some of the events on offer alongside traditional seasonal concerts at Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham during December.

For younger audiences, the enthralling live production of children?s favourite The Gruffalo, presented by Tall Stories, will take place twice daily at Town Hall between Wednesday 23 December and Sunday 3 January. Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the award winning book, now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Recommended for ages 3-7, the performances last just under an hour.

The season of traditional concerts gets underway on Saturday 5 December – mezzo soprano Gaynor Keeble and the London Welsh Male Voice Choir will perform a selection of Christmas favourites alongside opera choruses, spirituals, folk songs and hits from popular musicals in an uplifting charity gala concert at Town Hall.

On Wednesday 9 December, Symphony Hall welcomes popular classical singer Lesley Garrett and the English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Phillip Ellis for a special evening of carols, seasonal songs and opera and classical arias.

Female a capella group Black Voices explore gospel, spiritual, jazz and blues music at their traditional Christmas Concert, which takes place this year on Saturday 19 December at Town Hall.

Post-Christmas, Simply Gershwin brings the glamour of Broadway to Symphony Hall on Monday 28 December as three times world dance champions Chris Marques and Jaclyn Spencer, tap dancer Douglas Mills, guest vocalists and the London Concert Orchestra join together for a night of toe-tapping tunes.

On Tuesday 29 December at Symphony Hall, the BBC?s Jennie Bond hosts a royal tour of glorious arias and timeless music in A Night at the Opera, including works by Rossini, Verdi, Tchaikovsky and Puccini. Soprano Linda Richardson and tenor Rafael Rojas join the London Concert Orchestra, the Leicester Philharmonic Choir and Welsh Guard trumpeters.

Ring in the New Year with a spectacular New Years Eve Gala Matinee concert on Thursday 31 December at 5pm in Symphony Hall. Bustling with rousing classics, including Proms favourites, Dvorak, Mozart, Sibelius and Grieg, special guests Kit and Widow will also take a fond look back at 2009, before soprano Claire Wild and the London Concert Orchestra take you towards 2010.

Ease into 2010 at Symphony Hall on Sunday 3 January with Sunday at the Symphony – a charming afternoon of classics including works by Saint Saens, Rossini, Elgar and Strauss performed by the Manchester Concert Orchestra, conducted by John Pryce-Jones.

For audiences looking for something a little different, Birmingham promoters Capsule kick off the alternative December programme on Wednesday 2 December at Town Hall with their 10th birthday celebrations featuring four bands including headliners and pioneers of folktronica Tunng.

Renowned author Charles Dickens gave his first ever public reading of A Christmas Carol at Town Hall Birmingham in 1853. Over 150 years later on Monday 7 December, renowned actor Clive Francis will recreate the occasion, filling the stage with an entire Dickensian landscape.

Local boy Scott Matthews, described as ?the most promising home-grown singer-songwriter to emerge in years? by music industry press, visits Town Hall on Friday 11 December for a one-off show following the release of critically acclaimed second album ?Elsewhere? earlier this year. Support comes from ethereal songstress Jo Hamilton.

Birmingham?s leading choral ensemble and Town Hall Associate Artist Ex Cathedra will perform Latin American Baroque music at Town Hall on Saturday 12 December, whilst influential 60?s British songwriter and ex-Kinks front man Ray Davies is at Symphony Hall on the same night.

Following the global success of stunning new album ?Draw the Line?, best selling artist David Gray returns to Birmingham for an intimate performance at Symphony Hall on Tuesday 15 December.

With the rare kind of raw talent and timeless glamour that truly illuminates the stage, the young rockabilly/blues singer Imelda May will be performing hits from acclaimed and self written album Love Tattoo live on stage with her band in a night of hi-jinks and retro rock n roll at Town Hall on Wednesday 16 December.

The Grade I listed Town Hall will ring with the very best in vocal jazz on Friday 18 December when The New York Voices appear for a UK exclusive with the BBC Big Band. The Grammy-winning quartet will perform a sensational programme including Sing Sing Sing, Ain?t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, Orange Coloured Sky and seasonal favourites such as We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

For full details of these and the full range of festive events at Town Hall and Symphony Hall, visit www.thsh.co.uk or phone 0121 780 3333.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

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TOWNHALLSYMPHONYHALLBOXOFFICE 0121 780 3333
ONLINEBOOKING www.thsh.co.uk
(£2 fee per transaction on all bookings except those
made in person at the box office)
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Capsule 10th Birthday Concert www.thsh.co.uk/view/capsule-10th-birthday-concert
Town Hall Wednesday 2 December 7.30pm £12.50

The London Welsh Male Voice Choir www.thsh.co.uk/view/the-london-welsh-male-voice-choir
Town Hall Saturday 5 December 7.30pm £15 – £25

A Christmas Carol www.thsh.co.uk/view/a-christmas-carol-by-charles-dickens—performed-by
Town Hall Monday 7 December 7.30pm £15

Lesley Garrett Christmas Gala Concert www.thsh.co.uk/view/lesley-garrett-christmas-gala-concert
Symphony Hall Wednesday 9 December 7.30pm £11.50 – £37.50

Scott Matthews & Band www.thsh.co.uk/view/scott-matthews
Town Hall Friday 11 December 8pm £14

Ray Davies www.thsh.co.uk/view/ray-davies-dec09
Symphony Hall Saturday 12 December 8pm £36.50

David Gray www.thsh.co.uk/view/david-gray-15th-dec-2009
Symphony Hall Tuesday 15 December 7.30pm £29.50

Imelda May www.thsh.co.uk/view/imelda-may-
Town Hall Wednesday 16 December 8pm £15-£17

The New York Voices with the BBC Big Band www.thsh.co.uk/view/the-new-york-voices-with-the-bbc-big-band
Town Hall Friday 18 December 7.30pm £12.50 – £19.50

Black Voices Christmas Concert www.thsh.co.uk/view/black-voices-xmas-concert
Town Hall Saturday 19 December 7.30pm £15

The Gruffalo www.thsh.co.uk/view/the-gruffalo-1
Town Hall Wednesday 23 December ? Sunday 3 January times vary £10.50

Simply Gershwin www.thsh.co.uk/view/simply-gershwin
Symphony Hall Monday 28 December 7.30pm £11 – £33

A Night at the Opera www.thsh.co.uk/view/a-night-at-the-opera
Symphony Hall Tuesday 29 December 7.30pm £11 – £33

New Years Eve Gala www.thsh.co.uk/view/new-years-eve-gala09
Symphony Hall Thursday 31 December 5pm £10.50-£35

Sunday at the Symphony www.thsh.co.uk/view/sunday-afternoon-at-the-symphony
Symphony Hall Sunday 3 January 2010 3.00pm £11 – £31.50

Fiona Fraser
Press & PR Manager
E Fiona.fraser@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 5008 (Direct)
Lyle Bignon
Assistant Press & PR Manager
E lyle.bignon@thsh.co.uk
T 0121 644 6028 (Direct)

Issue date: Thursday 5 November 2009