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Yuletide would not be the same without that curious array of instruments from yesteryear played by the famous York Waits in their annual ‘Goodday My Lord Sir Christmas’, one of twelve events packed into the nine days of the York Early Music Christmas Festival (December 13).

Two vocal concerts from the same era feature the famous Orlando Consort in ‘Alleluia Nativitas’, a programme of hauntingly spiritual music from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Two days later the Ebor Singers and Chelys Consort of Viols, perform ‘Verse Anthems and Carols from the English Civil War’, to coincide with their CD release, (December 12), whileon the previous evening you can join Joglaresa with their 
fidel, harp, bells and voices in a romp through carols of Christmas past.

Moving into the 18th century, the Yorkshire Bach Choir and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists include Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Handel’s Dixit Dominus in their Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall programme (December 9).

I’m not quite sure how Haydn’s complete opus 76 String Quartets have become part of the festival, but don’t miss these performances by the Chiaroscuro Quartet, a group that are being described as the most exciting 21st century ensemble – their three concerts will be taking place on December 9 and 10.

York Early Music Christmas Festival rums from December 8 to 16 at St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York.

Tickets from 01904 658338 or www.ncem.co.uk/xmas