5 December 2023

Live updates from Celebrating Christmas with The Salvation Army 2023

Bethany Gibson

Bethany Gibson shares updates from backstage at the Royal Albert Hall for The Salvation Army's annual carol concert.


And with a rousing rendition of ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’, accompanied by the International Staff Band, a trumpet fanfare and the Royal Albert Hall's organ, the concert has finished!

A photo from the wings of the Royal Albert Hall looking out into the auditorium during the singing of the final carol
Singing the final carol in the wings with Territorial Commander Commissioner Anthony Cotterill
A photo of the performers posing for a group photo on stage of the Royal Albert Hall
The performers gather on stage for a photo - keep an eye on salvationist.org.uk for the official photos from Paul Harmer

Don’t forget to join us on YouTube on Sunday at 6pm.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more Christmas content, visit salvationist.org.uk/christmas - we’ve got articles, podcasts, videos, Bible studies and resources to help you reflect on the comfort and joy that comes from the birth of Jesus.



Backstage, we’ve been asking people about their favourite carols. For stage manager Jo, it’s ‘Coventry Carol’, while Andrew from the SA Big Band loves ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’ and backstage host Territorial Envoy Ruth Morey (North Walsham) picks 'The Star in the East'.

A collage of three photos: the first of Jo wearing a stage manager headset, the second is of Andrew holding his trombone and the third is of Ruth holding tonight's programme
Jo, Andrew and TE Ruth

How about you? You can vote for your favourite brass, choral and contemporary Christian Christmas music in Salvationist Radio’s Christmas Top 10.

Tonight’s audience is in fine voice for the carol singing. You can join in from the comfort of your own home this Sunday at 6pm – visit youtube.com/salvationarmyvideo.

A photo of the full auditorium from the gallery of the Royal Albert Hall during the singing of a carol
The view from the ‘gods’


Major Jo Moir (THQ) has been busy filming behind the scenes with our special guests for the broadcast this Sunday (10 December) at 6pm.

A photo of Major Jo Moir filming and interview with Rosemary Conley
Major Jo Moir chats with Rosemary Conley, one of our special guests for this evening
A group photo of the International Staff Songsters backstage at the Royal Albert Hall
Backstage with the International Staff Songsters

Meanwhile, rehearsals have finished and the audience is arriving and taking their seats – there is a buzz of excitement as we wait for the concert to start!

A photo of cadets Jonathan and Luke holding programmes and a card reader for donation
Cadets Johnathan Brown and Luke Furlong ready to welcome tonight's audience
The audience taking their seats in the Royal Albert Hall
The audience taking their seats


Hello from London! I’m Beth and I’m the editor of salvationist.org.uk. I’m backstage at the world-famous Royal Albert Hall, where the cast and crew of Celebrating Christmas with The Salvation Army are making their final preparations for the territory’s annual carol concert. 

If you’re unable to be with us in London tonight, you’ll be able watch the concert on The Salvation Army’s YouTube channel this Sunday (10 December) from 6pm.  

Keep an eye on this page for behind-the-scenes photos and updates from performers or follow facebook.com/SalvationistUKI for content from my colleague, Jess.

A photo of the Royal Albert Hall with a Christmas tree in front of it
The Royal Albert Hall
A photo of the stage of the Royal Albert Hall - you can see Christmas trees on the stage and people rehearsing
Sound checks are under way
A photo of the SA big band rehearsing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall
Final rehearsals for the SA Big Band

Written by

Bethany Gibson

Bethany Gibson

Online Content Editor

Watch the concert this Sunday

A recording of the concert will be broadcast on The Salvation Army’s YouTube channel on Sunday 10 December at 6pm.


Discover more

Devotions, podcasts, articles and resources to help you journey through Advent and celebrate Christmas.

A podcast of reflections for Advent inspired by Christmas carols.

TC Commissioner Anthony Cotterill shares an Advent message and reminds us not to rush through the season.

Explore faith and belonging with The Salvation Army.