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Snowman strings along with orchestra

By Alf McCreary

The Ulster Orchestra will stay in tune over the festive season with a series of concerts to mark Christmas and the New Year.

The animated film of one of the all-time family favourites, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, will be shown on the large screen in the Waterfront Hall with the orchestra and conductor Christopher Bell providing the live soundtrack. Children are invited to wear fancy dress and bring their 'jingle bells'. Two performances, which last an hour each, will take place tomorrow at 2.30pm and 5pm.

A musical highlight of the Christmas season is the annual performance of Handel's Messiah, which takes place this year at the Waterfront Hall on December 15 and 16. The orchestra, under conductor Christian Curnyn, will be joined by the Belfast Philharmonic Choir and by distinguished soloists.

The orchestra will take a Christmas break but early in the New Year the festive mood will continues with the ever-popular Strauss concerts. Nicholas Cleobury will conduct the orchestra in a wide range of Viennese favourites, and the performances will take place on January 5 and 6 at the Waterfront Hall. Presented by Sean Rafferty, it will feature dancers Camilla Dallerup and Ian Waite from Strictly Come Dancing.

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