THE BEAR CONCERT VERSION to be narrated or performed with projected film, girl soprano, tenor and baritone soloists and orchestra op.510 (April 1999)

The music and songs comprising this concert work were originally created for the animated film of 1999
Published by: Inquiries to Highbridge Music to rent music, hire film, contact anna@annamenzies 07711 61
Commissioned by: Original animated film commissioned by Channel 4 TV
Instrumentation: For narrator or projected film, girl soprano, tenor and baritone soloists and orchestra:  2121 211.tuba.2pc pno/cel, hp, strings

[Key to Abbreviations]
Note on Lyrics: Music and lyrics by Howard Blake, based on the animated Channel 4 film directed and story-boarded by Hilary Audus (adapted and extended from the picture book drawn by Raymond Briggs)
Duration: 26 mins
First Performance:

Recording for TVC/Channel 4 at Sony Studios, Whitfield Street, London,30/31 March 1998, Tilly sung by Charlotte Church (soprano), Polar Bear sung by Martyn Hill (tenor), Star Bear sung by Peter Knapp (bass), The Sinfonia of London conducted by Howard Blake, engineer Mike Ross-Trevor.


Sheet Music Available
Full score for sale
Study score for sale
Orchestral parts for sale
Piano / Vocal score for sale
Vocal score for sale
Instrumental / piano score for sale
Instrumental parts for sale
Full score for hire
Study score for hire
Orchestral parts for hire
Piano / Vocal score for hire
Vocal score for hire
Instrumental / piano score for hire
Instrumental parts for hire


Complete Piano/Vocal score or separate voice parts available

Recordings Available
The Bear
Released: 1998
Recorded: 30th March 1998
Artists: Charlotte Church (soprano), Sinfonia of London conducted by Howard Blake
Available from: Highbridge Music

The Snowman & The Bear
Recorded: 14th December 2003
Artists: City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. Anthony Inglis (conductor), Jim Chim (narrator)

TVC/Channel 4 animated film released on DVD 1999

Audio CD available for performance reference with tenor Martyn Hill, bass Petr Knapp, girl soprano Charlotte Church

Documentary film of the making of the animated film titled 'The Bear's Tale' available from Channel 4 TV.



The animated film of 'The Bear' was made in 1997/8 by the same team that made ‘The Snowman’ , based again on a story by Raymond Briggs and first shown on Channel 4 TV on Christmas Eve 1998. It is a companion-piece to ‘The Snowman’ except that the hero is a small girl – sung on the film by Charlotte Church. The adaptation and storyboard development of the film were made by director Hilary Audus and art-director Joanne Harrison, the producer was John Coates.


'A young girl, Tilly, visits the zoo with her mum and dad, but accidentally drops her best-loved toy into the polar bear's pit. That night, Tilly cries herself to sleep, only to wake and find a huge polar bear standing over her- he's come to return her precious teddy.

So begins a magical friendship with some bear-size complications, the biggest problem being how to keep such an enormous pet hidden from her parents. Everything changes when The Bear hears a call of the wild from the spirit of The Star-Bear who descends from the constellation in the sky to embark on an extraordinary night adventure across the City of London.

The Bear is represented by a tenor and the Star-Bear by a bass-baritone but all three singers join in the song ‘Somewhere a star shines for everyone’, sung as they skate down the frozen Thames.



See how the Great Bear gleams
So far, far away up high,
You can see how the starry beams
Make a trail in the wintry sky.
It guides you home,
It shows you the way,
It leads you back to those whom you love,
where your heart belongs.
Just take one step and it will start you upon the journey homeward,
Clothed in a silver cloud
And following stride by stride,
Oh - swath'd in a robe of stars, and travelling side by side,
The Star-Bear will lead you safely home.

Somewhere a star shines for everyone,
Somewhere one's shining for me.
No matter how rich or poor you are,
If you are born with a rising star.
Somewhere a star shines for everyone,
No matter who you may be.
High or low, great or small
we can be happy,
Somewhere a star shines for me.


22nd December 2017 Jason Thornton conducted brilliant performances with The Bath Philharmonia: 'The Snowman' and 'The Bear' both with film, singers and orchestra. A presenter introduced players and instruments to fill up an entire programme of Howard's music., The Forum Bath
22nd April 2017
- 23rd April 2017
The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Five children's concerts in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
14th November 2014 Royal Northern College of Music,
9th October 2014 City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, cond. Colin Touchin, host Tania Martin, Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium

28 December 2014 Hong Kong(China)The Snowman, The Bear, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong conducted by Colin Touchin - Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Colin Touchin, guest conductor Tania Martin,Music by Howard Blake Original stories by Raymond Briggs Spice up your winter holidays with Howard Blake's The Snowman & The Bear! These two animated films, both heartwarming and magical, are based on picture-books by Raymond Briggs. Experience them on the big screen to the sounds of live orchestral accompaniment and singing. The perfect holiday treat for all the family.

12th December 2010 Toronto Symphony Orchestra cond. by Alain Trudel; Aaron Ferguson tenor, Stephen Hegedus, bass baritone, Viva Youth singers of Toronto, The Bear Dancers, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto
5th December 2010 Victoria Symphony Orchestra, conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia, The Royal Theatre, Victoria
1st December 2009
- 2nd December 2009
Cologne Radio Orchestra, conducted by Tobias van de Locht,
21st December 2008
- 22nd December 2008
Bath Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. by Jason Thornton, Colston Hall, Bristol; Town hall, Cheltenham
5th December 2008
- 6th December 2008
Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.,

Concert including 'The Snowman' concert work. 3 perfs 5th Dec 7.30, 6th Dec 3.00 & 7.30

1st June 2008 The Macao Orchestra conducted by Francis Kan, Macao Cultural Centre. Grand Auditorium

Children's Day Concert-My world of fairytales

2nd December 2007 Bath Philharmonia: Howard Blake double bill The Snowman and The Bear. 2.30pm, 7.30pm,


25th November 2007 Bath Philharmonia conducted by Jason Thornton (2 performances, matinee and evening), Theatre Royal Bath

Concert of 'The Snowman'and 'The Bear' with pre-concert talk by Howard Blake with Jason Thornton

17th December 2006 RTE Concert Orchestra, The Helix, Dublin tbc
10th December 2006 Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra conducted by Richard Honner, Hong Kong City Concert Hall

With The Snowman and both with projected film

19th June 2005 City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Anthony Inglis, Kowloon City Hall
13th December 2004
- 18th December 2004
Royal Scottish National Orchestra,David Rintoul, Christopher Bell, Usher Hall Edinburgh, Caird Hall Dundee, The Music Hall Aberdeen, Royal Concert Hall Glasgow

Performed with both narration and projected DVD of the animated film

29th December 2003 Michael Fenton Stevens, London Concert Orchestra, Howard Blake (cond.), The Barbican Concert Hall, City of London
28th December 2003 Michael Fenton Stevens (narrator), London Concert Orchestra conducted by Howard Blake, Birmingham Symphony Hall

Related Works

'THE BEAR' op.496 (March 1998)
Songs and score for an animated film made for Channel 4 featuring the song 'Somewhere a star shines for everyone', sung on the film by 'discovery' Charlotte Church.
The song for girl soprano, tenor, baritone and orchestra from 'The Bear'
to be performed specifically with projected film, girl soprano, tenor and baritone soloists and orchestra

Related Autobiography Chapters

I score 'My Life So Far' for David Puttnam with Colin Firth & Malcolm McDowell (1999)

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