The Celebration of Christmas Carols is a long-standing fixture on the BSO calendar, but that does not mean that the orchestra just dusts off last year’s repertoire.

While there were certainly plenty of traditional seasonal favourites in this memorable evening, they were interspersed with some very effective surprises.

It began with the orchestra in sparkling form with Anderson’s A Christmas Festival, which weaves together some of the season’s best-known melodies.

But this evening was not just about the BSO. It also relied heavily on the talents of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, the Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus and Children’s Chorus, and on the contribution of the audience itself.

The choruses gave us such highlights as the Sans Day Carol and Broadhurst’s Cowboy Carol and a rousing new arrangement of O Holy Night. Their voices were augmented by those of the audience for the likes of O Come All Ye Faithful, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

The surprises included selections from Humperdinck’s opera Hansel and Gretel and Johann Stauss II’s Tritsch-Tratsch Polka. And one of the undoubted highlights marked this year’s centenary of the World War I Armistice: BSO chief executive Dougie Scarfe reading The Christmas Truce while the orchestra played a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night by conductor Gavin Carr.

The evening closed in traditional fashion with a rousing finale of Hark the Herald Angels Sing and an encore of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. It was a fitting end to a wonderful evening and a very successful year for the orchestra.