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“THE best ever” was the verdict of the musical director as York’s annual community carol concert drew to a close.
John Warburton was giving his expert opinion on the Military Wives Choir York, Archies Boys Aloud, the Huntington Primary Academy Choir and the Lord Deramore’s Primary School Choir among others at the Barbican.
He has recently announced that he will bow out after next year’s 60th anniversary concert after many years in charge of the baton.
The 59th annual community carol concert was a sell-out with all 1,400 tickets sold. Once the bucket collection during the concert is added to the tally, organisers are confidently expecting that it will also be the most profitable.
The concert began slightly late because the city centre was so busy with shoppers, tourists and others that many of the audience had difficulty finding parking places.
But once the music started the transport problems were forgotten as performers and audience sang and played their hearts out for two whole hours.
They included the full Civic Party, headed by Lord Mayor David Taylor.
Secretary Graham Bradbury said: “It has been absolutely wonderful, one of the best concerts we have ever had. It’s been the most successful yet.”
This year, in addition to benefiting the Lord Mayor and Sheriff’s Christmas Cheer fund to provide festival receptions for 400 of the city’s older residents, proceeds from the concert will go to York Mind, a local independent mental health charity that is helping those affected by the closure of Bootham Park Hospital and others with psychiatric difficulties.
Archies Boys Aloud was performing at the Barbican just two years after it was founded at Archbishop Holgate's School. Its members are all boys aged between 11 and 16.
Also on stage were the Shepherd Group Concert Brass Band under the baton of Mike Pratt and singer Steve Cassidy with guitarist Steve Flanagan, MD of The Steve Cassidy Band.
The audience in the auditorium were joined by patients at York Hospital listening through a relay on York Hospital Radio.
Next year’s concert will be on Sunday December 17 and tickets will be on sale from Monday 3 July.