THE National Youth Jazz Orchestra opens Christmas Festivities at the Kenton Theatre in Henley on Friday, December 9 at 7.30pm with A Christmas Spectacular. For the first half the 22-piece orchestra will be playing Paul Hart's new work- jazz themes for Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. The second half will be devoted to special arrangements of favourite Christmas music and song with two vocalists, directed by Bill Ashton OBE. Tickets are £20 with £18 concessions. Book online at or from 01491575698.

VISITORS to Stowe Landscape Gardens can enjoy free entry to the gardens during November and December. It will be open every Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm. It will be closed on December 24, 25 and 26. There are also a number of Christmas events on offer. Make your own vintage cake stand on November 26 from 9.30-11.30am and 1.30-3.30pm. Booking essential and it is £45 per person. For a full list of what's on go to and click ‘things to do’ and ‘events’.

AMBERLEY Publishing has published a new book called Aylesbury Through Time, written by Charles Close. It includes a selection of photographs which illustrates the transformation that has taken place in Aylesbury over the past century. It looks at what has changed in terms of buildings, traditions and ways of life. RRP is £14.99 and is available from all good bookstores.

THE Four Seasons by Candlelight is at the Wycombe Swan on November 23 at 7.30pm. Vivaldi's The Four Seasons will be played in a candle-lit setting. The programme includes Bach's Air On A G String, Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Handel's Trumpet Suite and will be played by the Mozart Festival Orchestra in full period costume. Tickets range from £22 to £29.50 from 01494512000 or go to