Deck the Halls - Christmas at THSH

PERFECTPRESENTS – £15 gift membership, and gift vouchers

December 2012- January 2013

There are festive treats aplenty at Town Hall and Symphony Hall this Christmas with popular and classical music, carol singing and dance, a cappella and folk to big band – and a few shows which aren’t festive, just a great night out! Highlights include a staged adaptation of The Gruffalo’s Child, the much-acclaimed Swingle Singers, Handel’s Messiah from the renowned Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and, of course, Symphony Hall’s traditional Christmas Festival.

The carol singing gets underway on 10 December as Thomas Trotter leads the audience in Sing Carols with the City Organist. The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge – famous through their annual televised Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve – visit Symphony Hall to perform Handel’s Messiah, and star violinist Nicola Benedetti plays Concertos for Christmas at Town Hall. Carols by Candlelight heralds the traditional Symphony Hall Christmas Festival and is the first of two atmospheric candlelit-style concerts with the Mozart Festival Orchestra performing in extravagant 18th century costume (the second concert is The Four Seasons by Candlelight). Perennial favourites include the Last Night of the Christmas Proms and The Glory of Christmas as well as the New Year’s Eve Gala.

This year’s children’s production at Town Hall is The Gruffalo’s Child, a staged-adaptation of the much-loved book by Julia Donaldson (22 Dec – 16 Jan), ideally suited to children aged three years and over. Families can also take advantage of some special ticket offers on selected shows: Ultimate Movie Heroes includes some of the most famous themes and soundtracks including James Bond, Superman and Harry Potter; there’s joyous seasonal music and carols in the Glory of Christmas, and a semi-staged performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s nautical-themed operetta HMS Pinafore.

Show-stoppers from the West End and Broadway feature in Musicals of the Night, with songs from Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific and many more. Soloists Jacinta Whyte and Tim Howar join the London Concert Orchestra in Jingle Bell Christmas with favourites including Jingle Bell Rock, All I Want for Christmas is You and Santa Baby. The elegance and grace of the Viennese waltz is celebrated in One Night in Vienna as dancers in glorious costume, led by the irrepressible showman and conductor Rainer Hersch, perform waltzes from the Strauss family, Tchaikovsky, Lehar and others.

Charles Dickens gave his first ever public reading – of A Christmas Carol – in Birmingham’s Town Hall and actor Clive Francis returns with his popular recreation of the occasion. And there’s more story-telling from writer and raconteur Gervase Phinn, who lights up Christmas with his witty anecdotes, poems and readings.

Two leaders in the field of a cappella music appear at Town Hall in December: the five-time Grammy award-winning Swingle Singers: Yule Songs delivers a festive mix of holiday favourites in their inimitable classical/jazz crossover style. And the Midlands’ own Black Voices sprinkle festive cheer with some great new arrangements commissioned for their silver jubilee.

Kate Rusby at Christmas finds the folk songstress re-visiting the carols and Christmas songs of her childhood growing up in South Yorkshire, an oral tradition in the region spanning 200 hundred years. She is joined by her band, complete with brass quintet, for new variations of familiar carols as well as old favourites.

For a great, non-festive, night out, there’s musical delight, fun and frolics from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, while the unique sound of The Overtones combines the essence of vocal groups of yesteryear with the best of classic, present-day British pop.

THSH also has your gift dilemmas solved! At just £15, a gift membership last all year and offers advance notice of on-sale dates as well as benefits on THSH bars, parking and cloakroom and more. Gift vouchers are also available and are redeemable against all THSH shows. A range of musical gifts is available from the Symphony Hall Music Shop.

Concerts take place across Town Hall & Symphony Hall Birmingham. Full details, tickets and information are available from the Box Office on 0121 780 3333 or



For all Christmas concerts at Town Hall & Symphony Hall see

Selected listings

Sun 9 Dec, 3pm, TH – Nicola Benedetti plays Concertos for Christmas
Mon 10 Dec, 1pm, SH – Lunchtime Organ Concert: Sing Carols with the City Organist
Mon 10 Dec, 7.30pm, TH – Swingle Singers: Yule Songs
Mon 10 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – The Overtones
Fri 14 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Messiah from King’s
Sun 16 Dec, 2.30pm, SH – Carols by Candlelight
Sun 16 Dec, 7.30pm, TH – A Yuletide Evening with Gervase Phinn
Mon 17 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Weds 19 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Kate Rusby
Fri 21 Dec, 7.30pm, TH – Black Voices
Sat 22 Dec – Wed 16 Jan, various times, TH – The Gruffalo’s Child
Sat 22 Dec, 2.30pm, SH – Jingle Bell Christmas
Sun 23 Dec, 7.30pm, TH – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Mon 24 Dec, 2.30pm, SH – The Glory of Christmas
Thurs 27 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Last Night of the Christmas Proms
Fri 28 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Musicals of the Night
Sat 29 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Ultimate Movie Heroes
Sun 30 Dec, 2.30pm, SH – The Four Seasons by Candlelight
Sun 30 Dec, 7.30pm, SH – Beethoven’s Ninth
Mon 31 Dec, 9.30pm, SH – New Year’s Eve Gala
Tues 1 Jan, 2.30pm, SH – One Night in Vienna
Sun 6 Jan, 2.30pm, SH – HMS Pinafore

Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at Symphony Hall, trailer


Membership costs £15 a year and benefits include advance notice of on-sale dates, priority booking line exclusively for members, waived transaction fees and free use of the cloakroom, discounts at THSH bars and participating restaurants and bars around the city.

Gift vouchers can be purchased via 0121 780 3333 or on-line at

Symphony Hall Music Shop sells an exceptional range of CDs and gifts. Situated in the ICC Mall, it is open 11am-6pm (Mon-Sat) and late on concert nights. Further information from 0121 200 2382

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to music from jazz, folk, world, roots and classical, to rock and pop. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

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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*(£2.50 fee per transaction on all bookings except those made in person at the box office)
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Fiona Fraser/Lyle Bignon/Abi Barrington
Press & PR Manager/Assistant Press & PR Manager/Press Assistant
T 0121 644 5008/0121 644 6028/0121 644 6078 (Direct)

Issued 22 October 2012