From Silent night to Ding dong! merrily on high, every carol has both a story and a history - though some of the stories are not history at all, but, rather, fanciful creations that add colour, confusion or complexity to Advent and Christmas music. This event delves into the heart of the season, looking at what the modern secular Christmas has done, not just to the core messages of Christmas, but to the music which tells its story. We naturally hear this music in churches and Carol Services, but this is the only church season whose music is also routinely heard in supermarkets and shopping malls; at no other time of the year is choral music so prominent.
Singing carols we know and love, in various versions, we will learn about their stories and backgrounds from Gordon Giles, a regular contributor to Church Music Quarterly (Hymn Meditations), and reflect on their meaning and purpose. (Do note, however, that you need not be a choral singer to take part!)
| REPORT by Keith Atkinson
Abingdon, St Helen's Church