THE CELEBRATED Brighouse and Rastrick Band will return to Ilkley this December for a spectacular Christmas concert.

Considered by many as the best and most consistent ‘public subscription band’ in the world, the band will make its return to the King's Hall and Winter Garden on Saturday December 5.

'B&R' as they are known in musical circles, was formed more than 130 years ago through public donations given by the townsfolk of the adjacent villages of Brighouse and Rastrick that face each other across the River Calder in West Yorkshire.

Today, it still continues to be supported through public subscriptions and its own fund raising efforts. Its amateur members traditionally pride themselves on being financially independent, never having been beholden to any commercial interest, yet they are still regarded as one of the ‘elite’ on the contest and concert platforms.

The band has had an extremely successful year, coming runners up in both the British Open and National Championship Finals, and being invited to represent England at the 2016 European Contest in Lille, France, and also the 2017 European Contest, which is to be held in Belgium.

The band will perform an evening concert, starting at 7.30pm, which will include many brass band favourites together with a number of new works and Christmas items - including a number of carols which the audience will be invited to sing along to.

A number of the band's world class soloists will feature in the King’s Hall concert.

Leigh Baker, the band’s new resident conductor, will be in charge of proceedings.

Leigh was the band’s principal baritone player for 20 years and also held the position of composer in residence, he returned to the Band to take up the resident conductor role in early October of this year.

The Brighouse and Rastrick Christmas Concert has become a local favourite with larger audiences attending year on year. This will be the fourth year that the Band has performed a Christmas concert in Ilkley.

Tickets are available from the Ilkley Visitor Centre on Station Road Ilkley, telephone 01943 602319.