VSO celebrates 20th Christmas Carol Concert with celebrity guests

VSO celebrates 20th Christmas Carol Concert with celebrity guests

Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London
Thursday 10th of December 2015 @ 7:30pm
Tickets  www.vsointernational.org/christmas-concert

British actor Hugh Grant has just announced that he will join the star-studded line up for this year’s special VSO 20th Anniversary Christmas Carol concert. He joins actress Juliet Stevenson, (‘Truly Madly Deeply’, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘The Politician’s Wife’) as a celebrity reader alongside VSO volunteers who will share stories about their work in developing countries.

Singers on the night include Grammy Award winning African singer-songwriter, Angélique Kidjo, and Mary-Jess Leaverland who has recorded songs on the Downton Abbey album and performed worldwide after winning X Factor in China. The City of London Choir will provide the choral backdrop under the baton of conductor Hilary Davan Wetton, who has been involved in all 20 of VSO’s concerts. Inner Voices, a chamber choir comprising students from inner city state schools in London will also perform and accompany Ms. Kidjo.  VSO’s patron, HRH the Princess Royal, will also be in attendance.

“Hugh Grant is well known and loved for his many movie roles including the Christmas classic Love Actually so it’s great to have him join the programme for this special 20th Anniversary Carol Concert.  Over the years it has become a ‘must do’ for anyone looking for a special moment in their Christmas season.  All the proceeds raised on the night go towards our programmes to end poverty in Africa and Asia,” said Philip Goodwin, CEO of VSO.

“It is a thrill to be part of the VSO 20th Christmas Carol Concert in London this December. I can’t wait to perform in the amazing venue of the Methodist Hall at such a special time of year. I have seen the many ways volunteers change people’s lives around the world so it’s great to be able to support VSO’s work through this event,” said Angélique Kidjo.

There is also a pre-concert drinks reception from 6pm in the Library at Methodist Central Hall where guests can mingle with celebrities, VSO returned volunteers and staff.  An auction will also take place on the night.

Tickets are now on sale for the concert and reception. Prices range from £15 to £75.  Tickets can be booked online via Ticketsource or by calling the box office on 0333 666 3366. For further details about the concert, please visit www.vsointernational.org/christmas-concert

As in previous years, the event is sponsored exclusively by our long term partner, the NASUWT - the largest teachers' union in the UK.  For further details, please visit http://www.nasuwt.org.uk/ 

Press are invited to list this event, attend the concert and/or book an interview with one of our performers, guests, returned volunteers, or choristers.

For further information please contact; Claire Gilderson, claire.gilderson@vsoint.org, Tel : +44 (0)208 780 7668  Mob: 07795 473 511 

Editor's notes

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. VSO's high-impact approach involves bringing people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action, and change lives to make the world a fairer place for all. See www.vsointernational.org for more information.


We first got involved because two choir members were volunteers. Since then, we have performed at every VSO Christmas Carol Concert for the last twenty years. We share the platform with musicians from different  traditions - typically brilliant African or Indian performers. It’s a joyous celebration of World music. Our members particularly enjoy the multi-cultural nature of this unique event.” Hilary Davan Wetton, City of London Choir Conductor.

'Christmas for me always starts with the VSO Carol Concert' John McLean, previous attendee

“A world class mix of festival music is the most fantastic way to start the Christmas Season” Greg Allen, previous attendee

“Five years after attending our first VSO Christmas Concert, it remains a popular and memorable event to bring colleagues and clients to. A very special occasion to support a great organisation.” Andrew Nicol, previous attendee and sponsor, AXA

“Christmas is my favourite time of year, and the VSO carol concert is a wonderful way to start the seasonal festivities.” Lindy Estlin, previous attendee