IT’S the most wonderful time of the year for fans of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The Lighthouse concert hall was decked with its festive finery for the Last Night of the Christmas Proms. And what an extravaganza it proved to be this year.

What began as a reserved singalong by the audience to Edelweiss from The Sound of Music later turned into a rambunctious rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas and other Christmas classics with a composer’s twist.

Pete Harrison returned to conduct the concert, joined by guest singer, West End and Broadway star Michael Xavier.

As promised by Pete, the evening was packed with music to make you smile - and there was more laughter than one would normally expect at a classical music concert.

The first half would have delighted fans of musicals, with favourites from Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music and Sunset Boulevard performed by Xavier, who starred as Joe Gillis in the Broadway show this year.

Homage was paid to film score composer Ron Goodwin, starting with his Disneytime Selection and later with his Medley of Christmas Carols and arrangement of The 12 Days of Christmas, which the audience helped Xavier perform.

Shortly before the interval, the orchestra was joined by 13-year-old Alex Bartle who delivered a performance of Walking in the Air to rival that of a young Aled Jones.

The second half of the concert involved even more audience participation, and many of us were up on our feet and clapping as we sang/ belted along to Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Merry Christmas Everybody, and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.

Anyone lacking in some festive spirit at the start of the night would have left feeling full of Christmas cheer – I know I was.