York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir to resume Christmas Traditions concerts with four nights of song and word at York Citadel

Richard Kay: Co-directing York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir’s 2021 series of Christmas concerts

YORK Philharmonic Male Voice Choir’s season of Christmas concerts is back on track after a Covid-blighted 2020.

The choir will perform Christmas Traditions 2021 with the Citadel Singers for four nights at the York Citadel, Gillygate, from November 30 to December 3 at 7.30pm.

“York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir have presented their popular Christmas concerts every year since 1962, becoming part of the fabric of York’s cultural Christmas scene,” says deputy musical director Richard Kay.

“Last year, of course, everything changed, although the ‘Phil’ were still able to deliver an online Christmas concert via Zoom to an international audience.

“This year, they return to their new home, the Citadel, where they last performed their Christmas Traditions show in 2019.”

After presenting Carols In Kirkgate at York Castle Museum for 50 years, the ‘Phil’ have since performed Carols In Fossgate at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall and Christmas Traditions at the De Grey Rooms, St Leonard’s Place.

“Now, in 2021, the spacious Citadel allows room for cabaret seating downstairs and balcony seating that can ensure safe distancing is maintained,” says Richard. “The show retains its ever-popular format: a blend of carols old and new and Christmas songs, including ladies and mixed-voice ensembles, plus festive readings and sketches.

“There’ll also be the opportunity to join in with communal carols and to enjoy a mince pie and glass of wine, surrounded by festive decorations, to help kick-start your own Christmas traditions.”

Richard is co-directing the 2021 shows with musical director Berenice Lewis, with the father-and-son team of Graham and Richard Kay directing the spoken-word offerings.

“The Phil have continued to rehearse and perform throughout the past 18 months, albeit with virtual tracks on Zoom,” Richard says.

“We’re now thrilled to be back rehearsing in person and look forward to our return to what we do best: performing our favourite songs for, and with, our loyal Christmas audiences.

“It promises to be a fun – and slightly emotional – set of concerts and I suspect the demand for tickets will be high this year.”

Tickets are on sale at £15, £12, £5 for under-16s, at arkevent.co.uk/christmastraditions2021. “Book early to avoid disappointment,” advises Richard.