THE festive season started with a sparkle as Abbey Gate College Chapel Choir performed to an audience of more than 1,000 at The Spirit of Christmas concert last Friday.

The annual event at Chester Cathedral raises vital funds for the Neuromuscular Centre in Winsford.

Returning for its 24th year, the evening of festive readings and music saw host Matthew Kelly joined by an array of stars of stage, television and film.

The choir sang the beautiful Quanta Qualia by Patrick Hawes, which featured an incredibly high treble solo, masterfully sung by Rhys Duffty, Year 9.

They also performed the delightful carol Born in a Stable by Philip Stopford and Ding Dong Merrily on High arranged by Mack Wilberg.

Head of music James Andrews said: "The choir excelled themselves, performing to a very high standard. It was exciting for our pupils to have the accompaniment of the Roberts Bakery Band for the congregational carols, with all musicians coming together to produce a very professional performance."

NMC provides free specialist physiotherapy and other unique services, which are not available on the NHS, for people with neuromuscular conditions.