York Musical Society to perform serious and fun Christmas concert

Soprano soloist: Kasia Slawski

YORK Musical Society’s Christmas Concert will be held at St Lawrence Parish  Church, Lawrence Street, York, on December 14.

In a family-friendly programme ranging from the fun to the serious, the YMS chorus of 100-plus singers will perform choruses from Handel’s Messiah, joined by soprano soloist Kasia Slawski, from Leeds.

She has many York connections, having gained a BSc in accounting and an MA in music from the University of York, where she sang in the University Choir and Chamber Choir, performing as a soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Israel In Egypt and Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers.

Kasia also sang with the Yorkshire Bach Choir and was a choral scholar at St Wilfrid’s, York, as well as at Leeds Cathedral from 2002 to 2012. She continues to sing in and around York while working as an accountant, proving she is good with notes all round.

The audience can join in with the choir and brass quintet for some carols, along with enjoying the choir’s rendition of several carols, both more and less familiar.  

In a first for YMS, Richard Shephard’s Mass for the Nativitywill be performed by a solo quartet drawn from the choir. The piece has strong York links: until earlier this year, Richard Shephard was YMS’s associate conductor and he is a former headmaster of the Minster School.

YMS will be conducted by John Bradbury, while David Pipe will accompany the choir on the organ and play solo pieces too.

York Brass Quintet will add to the 4pm festivities, playing seasonal favourites with an ensemble of two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba.

St Lawrence Parish Church, by the way, is York’s largest parish church, a fully heated Victorian building whose spire can be seen for miles around. Any profits from the concert, plus the retiring collection, will be donated to church funds. Tea and cake will be available in the parish room afterwards, again in aid of church funds.

Tickets are on sale on 01904 623568, at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk, in person from the Theatre Royal box office or on the door, priced at £10 for adults; £5, students and children over 12; free, children under 12, when accompanied by a paying adult. All seats are unreserved.

Charles Hutchinson