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Settle News and Updates for Visitors and Locals – December 15th



The tickets for this event are always the hottest tickets in town, and it is hardly surprising as it always seem to capture the very essence of Christmas with both stunning music and excellent readings in a magnificent candle-lit setting.  However, such excellence doesn’t come without a lot of practice and so it is only right to congratulate all those involved in coaching students and encouraging and inspiring them throughout the year.  The programme included much that was traditional fare but hidden away were delightfully enticing and unexpected nuggets to enchant those who are already sated on the usual carols. The singing throughout was magnificent with the beauty and clarity of the young people’s voices adding a marvellous dimension to well known pieces such as Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol” and Stopford’s haunting arrangement of the Coventry Carol performed by Schola Cantorum.  Interspersed throughout the evening were a range of musical items, again highlighting the wide variety of talents on offer and the school’s dedication to developing the young musicians in its care. These included  a delightful flute duet which was played with great delicacy of touch and an extremely confident Viola solo as well as a wonderful set by the Chamber Orchestra as well as very polished accompaniment to the congregational carols by the brass group. Congratulations  to all these young musicians and also to all the choir soloists for their confident performances; the opening solo of  the first carol of  the evening is always a challenge but one which Robbie Magell rose to with great skill creating a very atmospheric start to the evening.  The readers too performed not only with great confidence and clarity tackling work by U A Fanthorpe, Ted Hughes and John Betjeman as well as the traditional bible readings, but also showed a great understanding of the individual writers enabling them to bring both a sense of freshness and a sense of theatre to their interpretations of some familiar and  lesser known readings. There was in all aspects of the evening a sense of great efficiency, with very slick changeovers between items and a real sense of purpose and commitment in all aspects, all of which helped to make it an outstanding culmination to the hard work of staff and pupils alike and an excellent concert for the audience.



The purity of a candlelit children’s choir singing Britten’s “Hodie” from Ceremony of Carols set the mood for what was a wonderfully accomplished carol service.  Outstanding musical achievements are always a strong factor in this service and this year was no exception. It is always a real pleasure to listen to the pupils singing and it is a huge credit to the hard work of both staff and pupils that they seem to rise to  challenges which would daunt even experienced singers and take complex harmonies in their stride. Whether in choir or class numbers they sing with clarity of diction and exhibit a real joy in their music making.  This was particularly obvious in the beautiful “Kings Came Riding” performed by class 5 and choir’s rendition of Britten’s “New Year Carol”.  However my particular favourite has to be the joyous “Tell Out The News” sung by the whole school, which set the whole church ringing. Congratulations also to the excellent soloist in the opening carol: it is no mean achievement to begin a service and he managed with great style and confidence. Confidence and concentration however were the hallmarks of the afternoon with the readers in particular performing well and reading with both clarity and expression, most especially the narrator for the nativity play.  As always the young actors in the nativity were the real scene-stealers and there are certainly some future stars in the making if today’s performance is anything to go by!  Certainly no one in today’s congregation could fail to be impressed by the outstanding performances in every respect today, from the youngest of the actors through to the magnificent descant singing by the school in the concluding carol. It certainly was a memorable afternoon and a magnificent tribute to the work of staff who clearly have high expectations of their pupils and who through their diligence inspire the pupils to achieve so much and to take such pleasure in their achievements



Written for the Christmas season of 1734 the Oratorio was originally designed in six separate sections with each section being sung on a different day.  The performance by Langcliffe singers consisted of the first 3 of these sections. The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the Birth of Jesus, the second (for December 26) the annunciation to the shepherds and the third (for December 27) deals with the adoration of the shepherds. This structure means that the piece is a re-telling of the Christmas story to music and therefore it is composed of a number of recitative passages which are essentially sung narration as well as solo arias and chorale pieces. It was traditional at the time of writing for the audience to join in with the chorales , a tradition which the audience were invited to recreate at this performance. The nature of the work means that it is extremely challenging for not only the  soloists and choir, but also for the organist. This was very apparent in the concentration on the faces of the choir members at times.  It is undoubtedly a very exacting and ambitious work, however the Langcliffe Singers can take pride in delivering an extremely high standard of performance which is certainly a tribute to the hard work of their choirmaster and conductor, Nigel Waugh and the result of meticulous and dedicated rehearsal. Particular mention should be made of the outstanding playing of organist, Paul Fisher in what must certainly feel like the musical equivalent of running a marathon in a record breaking time. A narrative performance only really succeeds if all the listeners are able to follow the storyline clearly and therefore it is to the credit of all the soloists that they not only delivered musically excellent solos but also sang with great clarity and showed insight in their interpretation so that the nuances of the story were not lost. The work of the choir in the chorales was also exceptionally powerful, and while not many of them may regard themselves as “angelic” the singing in “Glory to God in The Highest” was certainly majestic and they created a very formidable heavenly host.  Similarly the closing pieces, “Rejoice and Sing” and “Hear, King of Angels” were strong and compelling.  This was a very accomplished performance of a complex work and the Langcliffe Singers should feel very proud of their achievements, particularly all those who undertook and delivered such fine solos.


A big thank you to all who supported and gave time and a donations to the all sorts market on 1 December, helping to raise a grand total of £702.


There will be a blood donor session on 19 December at St John’s Church Hall.  The afternoon session will run from 2.30 – 4 followed by an early evening session from 5-7.30pm.


The Christmas exhibition in the Gallery on the Greenis now open and features a truly communal effort in a knitted version of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. The windows of the phone box will feature panels from the Flag maker’s 12 Days of Christmas collection and there will be the usual children’s treats. The exhibition will run until 18th January.


A variety of events for all ages is on offer in the run up to Christmas. On Friday 20th There will be a chance to explore a Victorian Christmas with Blast form the Past, an entertainment featuring music, song, stories an drama from the era of Dickens and Hardy.   Sunday 22nd sees a special matinee performance by Pendle Productions of their pantomime, Aladdin.For details of all tickets and performance times contact 01729 825718.


Settle Voices Community Choir will provide the musical entertainment at the Artisans’ Fair in the Victoria Hall, Settle, on Saturday, 21st December between 11.30am and 12. After the Christmas break the choir will start its singing sessions again on Monday, 13th January from 1pm to 3pm in the Friends Meeting House, Kirkgate, Settle. New members are very welcome. For more information ring 01729 823777 or visit the website


The Christmas Exhibition, entitled “Seen & Unseen” at Linton Court Gallery (Gavagan Art) is open for business up until  21 December 2013 and features the work of various artists. Paintings, Prints, Sculpture will be on display including works by Margaret Uttley, Katharine Holmes, Roy Hubbard, Sam Dalby, Chris Rigby, Marjan Wouda, David Cook, Patricia Haskey, Jacquie Denby, Judith Davies, Frank Gordon, Nik Ingham, Neil Wilson, Simon Nixon. The exhibition is open on Friday, Saturday between 11 -3.


For those who weren’t able to get to our last fair, don’t despair, there’s still time to pick up lots of wonderful Christmas treats at the Settle Artisans Fair at Victoria Hall on 21 December from 9am – 2pm. There will also be refreshments served throughout the day and Santa is coming along to help wait at tables in the vintage cafe. There will also be music by Settle Voices Community Choir between 11.30-12.30.


There will be a guest evening at Settle’s 3 Peaks Folk Club on 21 December.  Held at Settle Social Club the evening starts at 8pm and runs through to midnight and along with the usual club singers the programme will feature special guest Chris Milner. There will also be an appearance by the Holbeck Moor Mummers. Admission is £2.50 and all are welcome.



Ahoy there me hearties! This week pupils enjoyed a range of exciting activities as part of Pirates’ Day, organised to mark the culmination of the school’s Big Splash project. Many came dressed as pirates and during the day, they learnt how to caulk the timbers, push the capstan, throw the grappling iron and pike their enemies! They also used their Maths and English skills to solve pirate problems involving cannon balls, hunting for treasure and baking gem biscuits. In addition, each child designed and made a panel for a sea creatures’ collage and sang sea shanties. There was a great turn-out for the  annual Christmas disco with 90% of the pupils able to attend. Thank you to all the parents who organised the event and to those who helped during the evening. We are also very grateful to Michael Preston for running the disco and to Father Christmas for calling in with lots of presents! Thanks also everyone who attended the Open Morning; it was great to see so many people at the school. We also received many positive comments about the pupils’ progress and all their lovely work displayed around the school.


On Sunday 22nd December there will be a traditional festival of lessons and carols at St Alkelda’s church, commencing at 6.30pm. All are welcome.


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