There’s a rare opportunity at St Mary’s Church to hear the accomplished Mellstock Band on Saturday, November 25 at 7:30pm.

Follow the Mellstock Band as they go on their Christmas rounds in deepest Wessex, encountering strange visitors, pious beasts, wrathful squires and sweaty dancers. There are harmonious song and curious musical instruments, all depicted in the wonderful words of Thomas Hardy and William Barnes.

A spokesperson on behalf of the organisers ‘Friends of St Mary’s Church’ said: “The Mellstock Band return to their roots in a show built around the descriptions of Christmas festivities in the works of Thomas Hardy and his friend, the Dorset dialect poet William Barnes. As always, the band perform in costume, with village band instruments of the 19th Century including fiddle, clarinet, concertina and serpent.

This performance coincides with the Christmas Tree Festival in the church, which will add further atmosphere to their music.”

Dave Townsend, Director of the band is a leading researcher and author in west gallery and village band music, as well as a composer, he lectures on many aspects of traditional and early music.

Phil Humphries – on returning to his native Dorset, became involved in country music and is now one of the country’s leading Serpent players.

Caroline Butler – is a reputable singer performing in choirs, madrigal groups and various folk harmony singing outfits.

Tim Hill – is a composer and his background performing on clarinet, saxophone and flute embraces early music, free improvisation, theatrical performance art and mainstream jazz. Tickets (£15) can be bought at