Watford Philharmonic Society is kicking the festive season off with a bang with their annual Christmas concert at Watford Colosseum on Wednesday, December 14.

The show will feature music for everyone to singalong to, including well-known classics such as Hark The Herald Angel Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful and a magical version of Walking In The Air by young soloist, Theo Kennedy.

This year, the chorus will also be joined by Cassiobury Junior School’s Year 5 choir.

Musical director Michael Cayton, who has been conducting the society since 2014, explains why he is enjoying his third season with the choir…

The 47-year-old, who lives in Islington but grew up in Lancashire, says: “It is going to be a very entertaining evening with Christmas carols for everyone to join in on.

“The choir is full of local people and we do all our concerts in Watford, as everyone takes part in their spare time, so it is something for all the community.

“Rehearsals are going very well at the moment, as the choir are really looking forward to the show. There are 150 singers and they have been practising for months. We’re all very excited about it.”

Michael admits that although the Philharmonic Society performs at the Colosseum around four times a year, the Christmas concert is always the most popular- particularly as there is always audience participation.

He says: “We perform at the Colosseum throughout each season of the year and we always get a good audience- particularly at Christmas. The choir does all sorts of music and our last concert was a remembrance concert, where we had the Western Front violin brought in from the Imperial War Museum, which was quite something.

“In the past, we’ve also performed Mozart’s Requiem and the concert before that was a bit like a Last Night At The Proms style show, where people waved flags. The audience can always participate in all our shows, which is great.”

Michael has a long and varied musical career, after starting his career in 1986 as a trumpet player in The Band of the Grenadier Guards, which is the oldest of all of the bands in the British Army.

He also studied piano playing and conducting at The Royal College Of Music, in South Kensington at the age of 24 and since then, has preferred to focus on conducting throughout his career.

He says: “I’ve had quite an interesting musical path and have always been very musical.

I left college in 2001 and started conducting choirs and that has been my main thing ever since. It is going really well with Watford Philharmonic Society, as they are a really brilliant choir and work very hard.

“I got involved in the choir nearly three years ago after being approached to be their guest conductor for a piece called The War Requiem by Benjamin Britten. At that time, they were also looking for a new musical director, as the previous one, Terry Edwards was retiring at that time, so it has all worked out well.”

Michael likes to keep busy and also conducts another musical group called The Chiltern Choir and another at a church in St John’s Wood, near Lisson Grove.

However, he has many plans for the Watford Philharmonic Society over the next year.

He says: “The next thing for the choir is a piece called Morning Heroes by Arthur Bliss, which will be performed in April and is a wonderful piece that is based around the First World War.”

A Celebration Of Christmas, Watford Colosseum, Rickmansworth Rd, Watford WD17 3JN, Wednesday, December 14, 7pm, details: watfordphilharmonic.co.uk