Stars of stage and screen joined The Salvation Army at London’s Royal Albert Hall to celebrate the start of the Christmas season with the international church and charity’s annual Carol Concert.

International ice-skater and television commentator Robin Cousins was the host for ‘Celebrating Christmas with The Salvation Army 2009’ on Sunday 29 November and the Christmas story was re-told by three of Britain’s best known actors.

Jenny Agutter, whose early appearance in The Railway Children has led to an international film career was joined by one of the country’s most cherished actresses June Whitfield, originally of ‘Terry and June’ fame and last but not least Nat.

The Royal Albert Hall was packed with Salvation Army donors, friends and members for the evening of Christmas carols and reflection on the theme of ‘Peace and Goodwill’.

The Salvation Army’s premier brass band and singing group, The International Staff Band and The International Staff Songsters, provided the musical backdrop for the evening, along with a combined mass youth chorus featuring young Salvation Army singers from Chatham, Maidstone, Bexleyheath and Bromley in Kent.

The featured duettists for the evening were Australian Salvationists Kerry Sampson and Nicholas Lester who are both forging professional singing careers in the UK. One of the highlights of the evening was the premiere of a newly commissioned duet – a setting of the Longfellow poem ‘Christmas Bells’ by Charles Miller and Colin Billing. Trumpeter Philip Cobb, co-principal of the London Symphony Orchestra, performed ‘Sleigh Ride’.

Following the theme of ‘Peace and Goodwill’, the second half of the programme featured a dramatisation by a group of young actors which took the audience back 70 years to the Second World War. ‘Evacuees’, which looked at the war through the eyes of young people, concluded with a moving rendition of ‘Let there be peace on Earth’ based on the Prayer of St Francis.

  • web Cast of the 2009 RAH Salvation Army carol concert_wm
  • web Jenny Agutter RAH 2009 Salvation Army carol concert_wm
  • web Nathaniel Parker RAH Salvation Army carol concert_wm
  • web RAH Salvation Army carol concert auditorium_wm
  • web Robin Cousins RAH Salvation Army carol concert_wm

Commissioner John Matear, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, gave a short address. A massed finale by all the performers of ‘Ain’t it Good’ from the Stephen Schwartz musical ‘Children Of Eden’, which is based on the book of Genesis, concluded the evening with a message of real hope for humanity.

The Artistic Director for ‘Celebrating Christmas with The Salvation Army 2009’ was Graham Hubbard who is currently the resident director of the new West End hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at London’s Palace Theatre. Executive Producer was Lieut-Colonel Marion Drew, The Salvation Army’s Secretary for Communications.

Edited highlights of ‘Celebrating Christmas with The Salvation Army 2009’ will also feature in an hour long programme to be broadcast across the BBC English Regions Local Radio network during the Advent and Christmas season.

Here are the first broadcast stations that are currently planning to transmit some excerpts of the evening. The show's title is "Christmas from the Royal Albert Hall". Please note that you can listen to the broadcast via BBC's iPlayer Listen Live and Listen Again, as far as I know the BBC Radio iPlayer also works abroad (!) - the mentioned frequencies will only work within the UK. All given broadcast dates are in GMT, please check your time-zone in order not not miss the respective original broadcasts (duration 60 minutes). Thanks to Amy at the Salvation Army for all her info...

Frequencies in the UK

Dec 20th at 11am
Dec 25th at 18:00pm

FM 93.2, 99
MW 1116
Dec 24th at 06:00am
Dec 27th at 00:00am

FM 103.9, 95.5, 104.5

Dec 25th at 06:00am
  FM 94.8, 103.7, 104
Dec 25th at 06:00am   FM 104.1, 88.6, 94.7
AM 1035
Dec 25th at 17:00pm
 bbc_radio_kent.png FM 96.7, 104.2, 97.6
Dec 25th at 18:00pm 
  FM  88.8
AM  1026
Dec 27th at 07:00am
 bbc_radio_hereford_worcester.png FM - 104, 104.4, 104.6, 94.7
AM - 738, 1584
Dec 27th at 07:00am

FM - 95.9
AM 1485

Dec 28th at 13:00pm
 bbc_radio_cornwall.png FM 103.9, 95.2, 96
For more details about the charity please visit the homepage of The Salvation Army UK.




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