Can you direct a world-class orchestra?

3 Dec 2015

Brighton Festival Chorus ask audience member to take up the baton for special Christmas Concert

Do you know your crescendo from your diminuendo? Your andante from your allegro? Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brighton Festival Chorus and Brighton Festival Youth Choir are to throw down the gauntlet to ticket holders for their Christmas Concert (Sat 12 December) as they search for someone to conduct the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

As one of the most well-known musical pieces from the baroque period, the Hallelujah Chorus is performed regularly all around the world, is the subject of study in schools and universities, and features frequently in movies, television programs and commercials.

Tim Rounding, chairman of Brighton Festival Chorus, says, 'The Christmas Concert is always a lively and inclusive occasion and the conducting competition is another way for the audience to participate. We hope as many people as possible will enter to be in with the unique chance to direct a hundred and fifty people live on stage at Brighton Dome!'

Ticket holders can enter the competition by submitting their name by email to with Hallelujah as the subject line. The draw will be held during the concert and the winner will be invited to the conductor’s podium.

An annual highlight, Brighton Festival Chorus (bfc), Brighton Festival Youth Choir and Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Christmas Concert is a joyous celebration of the very best in Christmas music, from traditional to modern, including much loved carols and festive favourites.

bfc will perform two famous choruses from Handel’s Messiah And the Glory of the Lord and Hallelujah. bfc will also sing Britten’s solemn Chorale after an Old French Carol (with lyrics by W.H. Auden) and Poulenc’s jubilant and quirky Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is Born). The beautiful Sussex Mummers’ Carol was sung in a play by a group known as Christmas Mummers in the Horsham area around 1880, and will be performed in this concert in a new arrangement by Morgan Pochin.

Brighton Festival Youth Choir will perform Caresse sur l’océan from the 2004 film The Chorus (Les choristes), the carols Torches and Papa Noel, and the Lily Allen cover version of Somewhere Only We Know by Keane, from the John Lewis television advertisement of Christmas 2013.

James Morgan, the Music Director of bfc, says, 'It’s lovely to be part of what is becoming the start of the Christmas festivities for many families in Sussex – we get to perform all the well-known traditional carols as well as introduce our audience to some fantastic new ones. The combination of symphony orchestra, organ, massed choirs and the audience singing together is always a very special moment in the year for us.'

The event will also continue the popular tradition of children in the audience submitting jokes during the interval, which are read out by James during the second half of the concert.

For tickets, click here.