Organised by Stornoway Singers, the two-hour long community concert on Saturday December 14th will include all your favourite carols – as well as a bit of the unexpected!

Calum Watt, who will be singing and playing in the brass quintet, explains: “We are performing lots that people can sing along to – as well as ‘For Unto Us A Child Is Born’ from Handel’s Messiah. 

“The reason we’re doing that is because we plan to invite people to join us in what’s called a ‘scratch Messiah.’

“That means that people who don’t normally sing in a choir get to come along and in one day we teach them the notes and all join together for a big concert with orchestra and soloists. 

“That will be held next year, and the aim is to encourage people to get involved and sing with a bigger choir.”

Stornoway Singers are made up of 40 performers, aged from 16 to over 70.  Alan Fish, Stornoway Singers' Chairman, says: “We do a wide spectrum of stuff, from classical to silly. 

“Our latest performance was Bach's St John Passion, performed in Stornoway Town Hall and in Talla na Mara, Harris.  Before that we staged Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance! 

“We put on a variety of concerts and we always do something at Christmas time.  The idea is to get people into the Christmas spirit and spread some cheer.

“Of course, we will be singing all the old favourites, and the brass quintet gives the carols a lovely warm Christmassy feel. 

“But we’ll also be performing more unusual Christmas music, including Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Crown of Roses,’ a modern, minimalist carol by Morten Lauridson entitled ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ and a toe-tapping number called ‘Just Another Star.’

“We will be fund-raising for Catch 23, a mental health charity running (amongst other things) a drop-in centre in Stornoway for people with mental health issues.”

The event, held in The Nicolson Institute, will take place on 14 December at 7:00pm.  “We expect a turnout of around 200,” explains Alan.   “It’ll be cabaret style, with people sitting at small tables rather than in rows, and refreshments will be provided.

"It’ll be a good night, and everyone is welcome to join us in the Nicolson Institute on Saturday 14 December at 7:00pm.  Tickets can be bought at Nicholson's Newsagents, Stornoway."