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Carol Services (and Kings)


Philip
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Its that time of year - carol services!

 

Kings have just released the order for their own offering on Christmas Eve - http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/files/services/...essons-2010.pdf. It seems to me to be rather imbalanced between what I would consider largely mainstream items towards the start with some newer and less familiar items towards the end. Given the huge repertoire of possible items, I wonder if SC is coming back to the same things rather too often. The commission this year is from a Finnish chap whose name I can't spell. I note we are getting Willcocks' arrangements of 'God rest ye' and 'Hark the herald' but the others are Cleobury. To finish this year the Dupre B major, an excellent mainstay of the repertoire.

 

The order for the TV broadcast 'Carols from Kings' is also available - http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/files/services/...-kings-2010.pdf. It is broadly similar, although additionally including such items as the Leighton, Warlock, Whitacre and Preston which are all well-known and which I do enjoy. A mixture of Willcocks and Cleobury descants again and finishing again with the Dupre.

 

Last year this discussion ran quite nicely, so lets hope it does again. What are contributors playing for their various carol services? We have ours on Sunday evening (lets hope the cold weather doesn't diminish the congregation like it did last year!). Choral items are mostly out of 100 Carols, with Rutter's Star Carol, the Lute-Book Lullaby, Willcocks' more interesting arrangement of 'Ding dong' and the Shepherds' Farewell. Gardner's 'The Holly and the Ivy' completes the set. I think we have struck a good balance between loud and quiet, fast and slow.

 

I've switched voluntaries around this year, so they're getting 'the Widor' after the carol service (in the same key as Hark the herald which I always play in F). BWV729 will follow Midnight Mass (its a bit less taxing for that hour of the morning) with 'that Sortie' on Christmas morning. For the crib service I will probably use (thanks to a contributor on here posting it on another board) Clifton Hughes' variations on Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Available from Banks, it is rather good fun and should hopefully hit the right note.

 

There's a good ramble to get you started - whatever Christmas holds for you in terms of services I hope it is successful and enjoyable!

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At St Stephen's Canterbury we are having our Carol Service on 23rd at 6.30pm. The music is as follows:

 

Choir: Hodie Christus natus est (Plainsong, as in Britten's Ceremony of Carols)

Congregation: Unto us a boy is born (CfC1)

Choir: The Truth from Above (arr. RVW, CfC2)

Congregation: Behold the great Creator makes (NEH)

Choir: Adam lay ybounden (Carson Cooman - worth searching out if you fancy a livey change to the Ord next year)

Choir: A Virgin unspotted (William Billings)

Congregation: O little town of Bethlehem (CfC1)

Choir: Angelus ad Virginem (arr. Andrew Carter, Advent for Choirs)

Congregation: Long ago, prophets knew (arr. Holst)

Choir: Nativity Carol (Rutter)

Congregation: What child is this (NEH)

Choir: The Lamb (Tavener)

Congregation: The First Nowell (CfC1)

Choir: Where riches is everlastingly (Bob Chilcott)

Congregation: O come, all ye faithful (CfC1 - Willcocks!)

Congregation: Hark! the herald angels sing (ditto!)

and BWV 729 to finish.

 

Steve

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Goodness only knows what we are doing at the Lessons & Carols on Christmas Eve - I've not been told yet! They'll be getting some French Noels before and BWV 729 followed by Richard Elliott's 'I saw Three Ships' after though.

 

A

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Hi

 

2 carol services this Sunday - joint one in our smaller church Sunday morning (only a poor digital piano). Concluding voluntary will be Wesley's Rondo on"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" if I can get it up to scratch in time! Otherwise something a little simpler.

 

Evening is here - probably the usual Bach "In Dulic Jubilo" to end - I haven't finally decided on an opener yet - the choices are somewhat limited by only having one manual with pedal pull-downs!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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What is going on? I used to give my complete draft order of service (everything - not just the music) for the Nine Lessons & Carols to the Vicar at the beginning on November and get it back within about ten days, with any amendments made. Ditto the Advent service, but a month earlier.

 

Malcolm

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Hi

 

2 carol services this Sunday - joint one in our smaller church Sunday morning (only a poor digital piano). Concluding voluntary will be Wesley's Rondo on"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" if I can get it up to scratch in time! Otherwise something a little simpler.

 

Evening is here - probably the usual Bach "In Dulic Jubilo" to end - I haven't finally decided on an opener yet - the choices are somewhat limited by only having one manual with pedal pull-downs!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

We'll be 'carolled out' by Christmas Day! Christingle last Sunday, then packed church again for Candlelight service on Wednesday, more carols on Sunday. At least we put a choir together for that - Rutter Sans Day, Three Kings, etc plus the obligatory BWV 729 to finish.

 

CP

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What is going on? I used to give my complete draft order of service (everything - not just the music) for the Nine Lessons & Carols to the Vicar at the beginning on November and get it back within about ten days, with any amendments made. Ditto the Advent service, but a month earlier.

In my case I think you know what has been going on and, from my experience so far, I am quite convinced that if I had been in a position to try any such ploy it would have been a waste of effort. It's now Friday and I still don't know what is on the menu, or the form the service will take, other than it won't be exactly a nine lessons and carols, but "something along those lines". Only once have I had a job where I had the luxury of being able to plan these services and that was in a church that had no priest!

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All Saints', Cheltenham, tomorrow (Sunday 19th) 6.30pm:

 

Once in Royal David’s city

Bidding Prayer

God rest ye merry, gentlemen - arr Wilcocks

2nd Lesson

Ave Maria – F. Biebl

3rd Lesson

I sing of a maiden – P. Hadley

4th Lesson

O Little Town of Bethlehem

5th Lesson

The Lord of all – R. Walker

6th Lesson

While shepherds watched

Sussex carol - arr Ledger

7th Lesson

Child of the stable’s secret birth – A. Caesar, arr C. Luke

8th Lesson

And the glory of the Lord – G. F. Handel

Responsory – Verbum caro factum est – G. Malcolm

9th Lesson

O come all ye faithful - arr Wilcocks

Blessing

Hark the Herald angels sing - arr Cleobury

In dulci jubilo BWV 729 – J S Bach

Final – Organ Symphony I – Vierne

 

Hope all your carol services go well in spite of the weather, if they happen at all!

 

F-W

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Assuming the weather permits All Saints Hertford 18:30 19/12:

 

Pastorale (Xmas Cantata) Corelli

Divinum Mysterium Watkinson

Quelle est cette odeur Oxley

Holy Boy Irelend

Once in RDC

Sussex Carol Willcocks

L1

Adam lay ybounden Ord

L2

Of the Father's heart

L3

Spotless Rose Howells

L4

Love came down at Xmas

L5

Angel Gabriel Pettman

Resonemus Laudibus Willcocks

L6

Mary's magnificat Carter

O little Town

L7

In the bleak Darke

1st Nowell

L8

Word made flesh Wilby

L9

O come

Prayers

Hark the H

In dulci 729 JSB

Carillon-Sortie Mulet

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The New College Advent and Carol Services can be heard here

 

http://www.newcollegechoir.com/webcasts.htm

 

J

 

Thanks for the link justadad - have added it to my bookmarks alongside St Johns Cambridge. The only slight problem is that they seem to have taken the music list down. At some point will get round to having a listen though.

 

No problems for us here on the edge of Nottingham - although temperatures are sub-zero we have no snow and barely any ice - roads are all entirely passable (even sideroads) and I've been into town this evening for the Nottingham Harmonic Carol concert/marathon (almost three hours!) without any problems. Have to say we have been very fortunate in not having any rain or snow to freeze - amazing how we are totally clear yet places only 100 miles away can be covered. Looking forward to our carol service anyway, and hoping we get a decent turnout.

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If you click on any particular service you get a menu from which you can see what's included and select any item (if you don't want to listen to the whole service).

 

I think they take each service off the music list once it's over, so at the end of therm there's nothing left.

 

Best wishes

 

J

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Only 18 brave souls made it to Church this morning, so we decided that this afternoons carol service would be cancelled . Oh well....I shall just have to sit by the fire and enjoy a glass of something festive instead.

 

That leaves me with just one more service to play for this year

 

Hi

 

Our service this morning went ahead - only a few absences, despite half the congregation having to travel across town - and we even did 1/2 hour of carol singing yesterday morning outside the shops!

 

Another carol service tonight - then just Christmas Day & 26th Dec this year.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Hi

 

Our service this morning went ahead - only a few absences, despite half the congregation having to travel across town - and we even did 1/2 hour of carol singing yesterday morning outside the shops!

 

Another carol service tonight - then just Christmas Day & 26th Dec this year.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

Hi Tony,

 

Greetings from Mary & Martin in Letchworth

 

Our choir was almost as large as the congregation this morning (and coming from much further afield).

 

Tonight we had a suprisingly good turnout - both musicians and worshippers (c200) delivering the programme outlined above in temperatures of -8C.

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We also had a good turnout - choir of 39 (joint with the Methodist church) and I'm pretty sure the total crowd topped 200 (compared to 120 on a Sunday morning). Lots of faces I didn't recognise. All the music went pretty well and I thought it was a well-balanced carol service and the whole thing including voluntary was over within 70 minutes (9 readings - not the nine lessons though with a couple of non-biblical ones, 5 choir as outlined above, 6 congregational plus some prayers etc). Altogether, very satisfactory. I know some people (including our vicar) don't particularly like carol services (and I can see why) but I have to confess that I love them, in no small part due to the variety of music but also due to the fact that they bring people together and into our churches who otherwise wouldn't come in. It is always a joy for me to see unfamiliar faces - the key is in offering a ministry of welcome and enticing them to return!

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Our menu at KPC:

 

Wancin Woyal *

The darkest midnight in December - arranged by myself from a traditional tune in the Oxford Book of Carols

Of the Father's love begotten +

I wonder as I wander - arr. Barry Ball

It came upon the midnight clear ~

O little town of Bethlehem ~

Away in a manger £

The Angels and the Shepherds - arr. C. H. Trevor

While shepherds watched %

We three Kings - arr. Neary

Lully lulla lullay - Stopford

Hark! the herald angels sing £

O come, all ye faithful £

 

And for the organ voluntaries:

In dulci jubilo - Bach

Prelude and Fugue in E - Lubeck

 

* descant by James O'Donnell

+ last verse by Richard Lloyd

~ last verse by David Hill

£ arrangement / last verse by David Willcocks

% plain and unadorned by any descant or last verse arrangement - some tunes really don't need such treatment, and I truly believe this is one of them

 

It all worked a treat, and I couldn't have been prouder of my Boys, Men or voluntary choir for all their respective efforts. It was our new Vicar's first Carol Service with us, so it was a chance to give him a further measure of what our music's all about; the only drawback was that I didn't get to read a lesson this year - perhaps because they invited our MP to read and had to boot me off the list to fit him in. (Our MP is the excellent Tim Farron, however, and he read extremely well - so I mustn't complain!)

 

We had a good-sized congregation of about 200-300; having certain other things to deal with, I didn't really get the chance to count precisely!

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Hi Tony,

 

Greetings from Mary & Martin in Letchworth

 

Our choir was almost as large as the congregation this morning (and coming from much further afield).

 

Tonight we had a suprisingly good turnout - both musicians and worshippers (c200) delivering the programme outlined above in temperatures of -8C.

 

Hi

 

Good to hear from you again - long time, no see! (But then Bradford is a long way away). Glad to hear your service went well - we had a good turnout here for our evening one - a variant on Nine Lessons this year (with only 7!) One of our readers is a mere 101 years old - and still living independently.

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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You can listen to the Carol Service from St Stephen's Church Canterbury and download the order of Service from the choir's website: http://www.churchchoir.org.uk

 

Perhaps if you didn't manage to get to a carol service this year due to the snow, you might like to worship with us.

 

A very Happy Christmas to you all.

 

Steve

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Thank you, Steve, and congratulations on your fine musical set-up at St Stephen's. I thoroughly enjoyed this service. How heartwarming it is to know that there still are some places able to communicate a real sense of the glory and majesty of God.

 

A gentle slap on the wrist, however, for attributing "Greensleeves" to Henry VIII. The tune was already known in the fifteenth century.

 

How big a congregation did you have for this service?

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Quite by chance, yesterday evening I watched (again) episodes 1-3 from my DVD of the ITV series about life at Canterbury Cathedral. Lo, and behold, the choir of St Stephen's Canterbury and, if I remember correctly from 14 hours ago, Mr Barker himself. Well done!

 

Malcolm

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St Peter's Stourton - Wilts. @ 6.30 on Christmas Eve

Pre - Noels by Dandrieu etc.

Once in.....

In the BMW - (not the Darke one)

Each Winter As the Year Grows Older - Gay arr. Haughan

Christ Be Our Light - Farrell

Hark the H.....

O Little Town - Walford Davies

Sussex Carol

Es ist Ein Rose - Praetorius

Away in...

Responsorial Psalm 96 - Pulkingham (with handbells!)

Joy To The World (arranged with nice string interludes etc.)

Angels from the Realms....

O Come All Ye......

Post - Toccata on 'I Saw Three Ships' - Richard Elliott

 

Something here for everyone - they've even tuned the organ - and the place will be packed!

 

A

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All Saints', Cheltenham, tomorrow (Sunday 19th) 6.30pm:

 

Once in Royal David’s city

Bidding Prayer

God rest ye merry, gentlemen - arr Wilcocks

2nd Lesson

Ave Maria – F. Biebl

3rd Lesson

I sing of a maiden – P. Hadley

4th Lesson

O Little Town of Bethlehem

5th Lesson

The Lord of all – R. Walker

6th Lesson

While shepherds watched

Sussex carol - arr Ledger

7th Lesson

Child of the stable’s secret birth – A. Caesar, arr C. Luke

8th Lesson

And the glory of the Lord – G. F. Handel

Responsory – Verbum caro factum est – G. Malcolm

9th Lesson

O come all ye faithful - arr Wilcocks

Blessing

Hark the Herald angels sing - arr Cleobury

In dulci jubilo BWV 729 – J S Bach

Final – Organ Symphony I – Vierne

 

Hope all your carol services go well in spite of the weather, if they happen at all!

 

F-W

 

I'm afraid to say that after all the rehearsal, blood, sweat and tears(!) this had to be cancelled. Not having sufferred much suddenly we were hit by the cold, snow and ice in this part of Gloucestershire. Ah well, there's next years carol service ready!(probably not) but we shall be able to use parts during Christmass-tide.

 

A very Merry Christmass to our hosts and all board members!

 

F-W

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