A Traditional Dorset Celebration!

Christmas with the Ridgeway Singers & Band

A Traditional Dorset Celebration!

Sun 4 Dec, 4pm. St Gregory’s Church Marnhull

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Now a firm fixture in the Artsreach winter programme, The Ridgeway Singers & Band have once again tuned their fiddles and voices to present a joyous celebration of Christmas past and present in a special concert for Artsreach this December. Led by folk musicians Tim Laycock and Phil Humphries, the group will perform a festive programme inspired by the rich sources of locally collected folk songs and West Gallery carols from the South Dorset Ridgeway area.


Traditionally sung by village choirs in English country churches, West Gallery music’s demise was brought about by the innovations of the organ and harmonium. West gallery carols and the accompanying musicians who played the fiddle, cello and serpent might have been no more than a footnote in history, if it hadn’t been for this style of popular music being recorded by writers such as Thomas Hardy in the wonderful stories and poems in which he evoked the singers and musicians who performed it.

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This year’s seasonal programme by the singers and band will include works from the Hinton St Mary and Fordington manuscripts, together with original carols composed in the West Gallery tradition, including ‘One Bright Star’ by Tim Laycock. Interspersed with some sparkling instrumental pieces and midwinter stories, plus a few Ridgeway favourites, expect a heart-warming seasonal celebration of all things Dorset!

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See The Ridgeway Singers & Band performing in St Gregory’s Church, Marnhull at 4pm on Sunday 4 December, where refreshments and mince pies will also be served! Tickets and further information are available from 01258 820458 or online at www.artsreach.co.uk

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