ONE of the most entertaining and bestloved acts on the folk and traditional music circuit celebrates its 25th birthday this year, and singers from all over Wiltshire, and beyond, are joining the party in City Hall Salisbury as part of a special choir.

Maddy Prior and The Carnival Band have been delighting audiences with fresh and imaginative versions of festive music since the release of their first album A Tapestry of Carols in 1987.

Prior, known worldwide as the voice of Steeleye Span, teamed up with The Carnival Band and their unique blend of early music and world music for a Radio 2 broadcast, and has never looked back.

Audiences return year after year for their Carols and Capers concerts but this year’s visit to City Hall is extra special.

Andy Watts, the Carnival Band’s front man, says: “We’ve noticed more and more of our audience are joining in, and we thought why not get them up on stage to sing with us?”

In October, Watts and 80 singers of all ages met for the first time for a workshop. He said: “At 10am, we had 40 people who’d never sung with each other before, and by 4pm we had a choir. They sound terrific, and I don’t know who is more excited about the performance, them or me.”

The choir will perform at City Hall on December 20 with Maddy and the Carnival Band at 8pm. For tickets call 01722 434434.