The concert is organised by a committed group of volunteers who meet throughout the year. Our Patron is The Duchess of Devonshire, a past committee member. We are also supported by a number of local businesses and organisations who help the concert through advertising and sponsorship. All proceeds raised by our concerts go directly to Macmillan Cancer Support and are used to help fund projects in the area.
This year will be our 22nd Carol Concert. It was the brainchild of Lady Zetland, a previous President of Macmillan, who wanted to replicate the well known Macmillan Guards Chapel Carol Concert in London, at a suitable Northern venue. Initially the concert was held at St Mary’s, Thirsk but its success soon required a move to a bigger venue. 20 years later the Ripon Carol Concert is now a much-talked about annual event and for many marks the start of their Christmas festivities.
Over the years we have been very lucky to have numerous celebrity readers, including HRH The Prince of Wales, Bear Grylls, and Ed Chamberlin to name a few, professional musicians and the support of the Aysgarth School Choirs and Queen Mary’s musicians providing a varied programme of music and readings. Liqueurs and homemade mince pies served in the Cathedral crossing round off the evening.
Since 1999 the concert has raised £347,428 for Macmillan. After the 2017 concert we were delighted to give Macmillan a cheque for £35,000 and we are incredibly grateful to everyone who supports the concert.