Fundraising total now exceeds £10,000...and growing...


Saturday, 14th December 2019, 7.30 pm at Bedales School 

Now in its 6th sensational year, The Magic of Christmas promises a sparkling line up of the best of Christmas music, alongside songs from the stage and big screen performed by the 50 strong Emsworth Concert Band conducted by Band Sergeant Andy Hall, Piano, Vocal and Academic Instructor at the Royal Marines School of Music. 

Talented baritone George Gissing is taking time off a busy schedule with the Band of HM Royal Marines for a special guest performance. George has appeared internationally, including the Royal Albert Hall, Leeds Castle Classical Spectacular, Basel Christmas Tattoo and Chichester Festival Theatre.

The event is at Bedales School’s Quad Theatre on Saturday 14 December at 7.30pm in aid of three local beneficiaries – Petersfield Mayor’s chosen charity for the year, The Rosemary Foundation ‘Hospice at Home’ charity, Home-Start Butser – helping families in crisis, and the fund for the rebuilding of Nyewood’s Village Hall – a much-missed ‘hub’ for this community. 

Tickets are available at £12.50 (including an interval drink) in advance (£15 on the door) from One Tree Books in Lavant Street, Petersfield, on-line from or call Jo Bennett – 01730 821026. Remember to reserve a seat on the Harting minibus – places are limited. 

Come and celebrate the magic of Christmas with this seasonal treat for all the family. 


The Magic of Christmas concert in its fifth year was a smash hit

Petersfield Mayor’s charity Home-Start Butser, The Rosemary Foundation ‘Hospice at Home’ charity and the fund for the rebuilding of Nyewood’s Village Hall were the chosen charities for the 2018 concert – sharing in over £2,500 raised from ticket sales and a magical prize draw. 

Concert-goers enjoyed an eclectic feast of music from Walt Disney to ‘White Christmas’, from ‘The Greatest Showman’ to ‘Mamma Mia’, performed by the 50 strong Emsworth Concert Band and talented local vocalist, Sophie Bateman who has performed in some of the most prestigious venues, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, all conducted and compèred by Matt Bowditch a member of the Royal Marines Band Service.

With its 5th fabulous event, The Magic of Christmas concert team - including many Nyewood and Harting residents - has raised over £10,000 to date for local charities and causes. 

It really is a sparkling way to start Christmas and help local causes – hope to see you there in 2019!!

Pictured below:
Members of the nursing staff, The Rosemary Foundation receiving a cheque from Tania Chaplin and Paul Martin, The Magic of Christmas Team

Pictured below:
Nicola Winter, Kim Steele and Georgina Randall from Home-Start Butser receiving a cheque from Tania Chaplin and Paul Martin, The Magic of Christmas Team


The 2017 'Magic of Christmas' concert raised over £2,700 shared equally by two local charities 

(The Rosemary Foundation and Nyewood’s Henry Warren Hall)

On behalf of the Henry Warren Village Hall Committee, Tania Chaplin is photographed below presenting the cheque for funds raised from The Magic of Christmas 2017 to Jeremy Mitchell at The Rosemary Foundation. Jeremy said: “2017 was the second year that this wonderful annual concert raised much-needed funds for The Rosemary Foundation, for which we are very grateful. The Magic of Christmas event is a very easy gift to recommend, one I hope will continue to be given for many years to come."

Pictured: Tania Chaplin, Chairwoman Henry Warren Hall Operating Committee, Jeremy Mitchell, General Manager and Claire Dunn, Clinical Manager of The Rosemary Foundation


Magic of Christmas Review - December 2017

It was (fittingly) on a starry night, that an eager crowd wound its way along the torchlit paths of Bedales school, preparing to fulfil a pre-Christmas tradition for many of the returning audience: to be thoroughly entertained by the 50-strong Emsworth Concert Band and their charismatic conductor, musical director Guy Bennett. The event raises money for two local charities (The Rosemary Foundation and Nyewood’s Henry Warren Hall), and the quality on show is every bit as generous as the cause.

On paper ‘The Magic of Christmas’ was a recital of festive and theatrical favourites. In reality, so much more. There was of course excellent music, but accompanied by local guest vocalists, multimedia performances and even a novelty reindeer outfit – Scrooge himself would have been brimming with seasonal goodwill without the need for late night spirits (although if he’d fancied a glass of wine, an interval bar service was available).

The well-chosen musical numbers were delivered with precision by the well-drilled and enthusiastic band, who played another lively and energetic performance, at times accompanied by extremely talented Nyewood residents Sophie Bateman (a London Bach Choir member and international soloist who trained with Mary King and the English National Opera) and Peter Ashdown (recently awarded a Choral Scholarship at Portsmouth Cathedral). Individually they captivated the audience with Christmas tunes and rousing numbers from musical theatre (from ‘Les Misérables’ to ‘Miss Saigon’), combining for romantic duets from ‘Tangled’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’. 

The Emsworth Concert Band (and by extension, the audience) is lucky indeed to find such a fine selection of musicians and vocalists on their doorstep, and the versatility of the entertainment was further expanded by guest musician Tony Allen hilariously parading the audience whilst playing a frenetic ‘Post Horn Gallop’ in a ‘Santa astride a reindeer’ costume, along with synchronised video for some pieces managed by musical director’s son Matthew, providing a level of technical support far in excess of most parents’ demands to “fix the internet”.

It can be a cliché to suggest an event has “something for everybody”, but the variety and overall quality of the performance (yes, I must even begrudgingly admit to laughing at Guy Bennett’s interspersed jokes) make this a very easy gift to recommend, one I hope will continue to be given for many years to come.

Ben Martin