FOR the good folk of Wensleydale, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the traditional concert by Leyburn Band.

A spectacular fireworks display outside the venue at Tennants, near Leyburn, provided the overture, then it was inside where there wasn’t a spare seat in the house.

Hosted by the Band’s Patriarch and President George Lundberg and conducted by his daughter Rebecca, their numerous awards gathered over the year took pride of place.

The evening commenced with a Festive March and followed by many of the well-known Christmas anthems all played in the band's own style bringing the music to life and often with a touch of humour.

Each piece played was accompanied with information on its musical provenance, and interesting asides from Mr Lundberg’s extensive musical knowledge. His renowned jokes also hit a seasonal high. His family-friendly version of being unable to find three wise men in Parliament may have resonated with local girl, Wendy Morton MP who was among the audience.

Several individual performances showed the band is packed with talented players. The audience was not having the night off and were coerced into participation by a bandsman and woman disguised as reindeers. A new generation of players also entertained, with the band’s juniors playing carols during the interval.

Prize for the best-dressed performer must go to E flat bass player Mark Lomas who for his solo rendition of Rocking around the Christmas Tree took it to another level dressed as a festive spruce that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the homes of Elton or Liberace.

Prior to the conclusion of the concert Mr Lundberg gave the audience a heart-felt reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. An encore of the 1942 classic White Christmas sung by Paul Phillips closed the concert.