REVIEW: Festive Spectacular, Spa Grand Hall, Scarborough

FESTIVE SPECTACULAR --- The Festive Spectacular Charity Carol Concert at The Spa Grand Hall, Scarborough.  // The choir of children from local schools. Saturday 6th December 2014. HARRY ATKINSON
FESTIVE SPECTACULAR --- The Festive Spectacular Charity Carol Concert at The Spa Grand Hall, Scarborough. // The choir of children from local schools. Saturday 6th December 2014. HARRY ATKINSON

Scarborough got into the festive spirit in spectacular fashion at the Spa Grand Hall on Saturday thanks to a cracking night of musical Yuletide entertainment.

Compere Harry Gration was on top form with his mix of anecdotes and ad-libs with the performers throughout the night, but it was the local talent of the United School Choir, Mini Manhattan Voices and Celebration Brass, along with clarinetist Andrew Piper and pianist Frank James, who ensured another entertaining charity carol concert.

This was my fourth Festive Spectacular, having seen two of my daughters make it into the Newby & Scalby School contingent of the USC, and they have all had the ability to get you in the mood for Christmas, with their mix of carols sung by the young choir and festive fare provided by the other acts.

This year the choir included nearly 200 primary school pupils, led superbly by Newby & Scalby teachers Paul Davison, conductor, and Sylvia Jackson on piano.

The schools of Newby & Scalby, Lindhead, Northstead, Hawsker, St Martin’s, St Peter’s and Hunmanby were all represented superbly by the biggest-ever choir at this annual event, the youngsters belting out traditional and modern Christmas tunes throughout the night.

The Scarborough Academy of Music’s Mini Manhattan Voices comprised of a group of seven to 14-year-old singers, and they were a supremely talented act.

Such was their proficiency that it was hard to believe that it was their debut performance at the event, showing great skills in a variety of carols and festive tunes.

Piper also wowed the audience with his mastery of the clarinet, especially during his final number ‘Immer Kleiner’, when he gradually takes the clarinet to pieces while still performing.

Pianist James managed to produce several versions of ‘White Christmas’ that I never thought I would hear, with his Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Beethoven.

An excellent amount of £3,200 was raised from the event, the proceeds being shared between Scarborough YMCA and The Cambridge Centre.

The audience joined in with several classic carols with some gusto which added to the festive atmosphere and the finale, which saw the whole hall singing ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ and ‘Jingle Bells’, the junior schools choir also brandishing glowstick as the lights were turned off to make for a colourful scene.

This was a great start to the festive seasonand I would recommend it highly for anyone wanting to go along next year.