Edition’s Guide to Christmas Carols
Get your festive senses tingling with these fine choral performances in and around Cambridge this December
Throughout the month, Stapleford Granary will be hosting 12 Days of Christmas. This includes three evenings of candlelit performances that have a spiritually inspired theme in honour of Advent.
On 1 December, folk musicians Melrose Quartet will play a spirit-lifting selection of traditional carols, wassails and seasonal songs, before some informal group carol singing led by the Come & Sing choir in the courtyard on 7 December.
Elsewhere, check out the reputed Pixels Ensemble on 11 December for an evening of music, and the Elina Duni & Rob Luft candlelit concert on 13 December for a haunting vocal experience influenced by jazz and folksong.
Find out more at staplefordgranary.org.uk/whats-on
Christmas Carols on the River
On 9 December, the choir from St John the Evangelist, Let’s Go Punting and the Traditional Punting Company will join forces to deliver their annual charity Christmas carol event.
This year, 100% of ticket sales for Christmas Carols on the River will be donated to Tom’s Trust – a local charitable organisation that provides psychological support to children with brain tumours, and their families.
“Our annual charity event is a highlight in our yearly calendar, a popular festive experience that is enjoyed by all. We’re honoured to be working with another local charity, to help those going through the most difficult time of their lives. We can’t wait to see you all onboard,” says Joe Merwiak, director of the Traditional Punting Company.
From 2.15pm, hop onboard a chauffeured punt as you glide your way down the River Cam along the College Backs for an hour-long festive experience to the sound of your favourite carols. Warm blankets provided!
Find out more at letsgopunting.co.uk/christmas-carols-on-the-river
Eboracum Baroque return to the Georgian splendour of St Andrew’s Church, Wimpole, for an assorted programme of festive music on Sunday 3 December from 2pm onwards.
The concert features seasonal vocal and instrumental works including arias from Handel’s Messiah, a pastoral recorder concerto, music for trumpets and traditional French Christmas carols by Charpentier and Lalande.
There’s also lesser-known festive works by Porpora and Galuppi. There will be refreshments and a chance to mingle with performers.
Secure your tickets to this and other festive events from the choir including a performance of Handel’s Messiah at The Church of St Andrew and St Mary in Grantchester on 15 December at eboracumbaroque.co.uk
Christmas Carols at the Leper Chapel
A rare opportunity to pass through the atmospheric doors of the Leper Chapel, this year’s carol services will take place at 4pm and 5pm on Sunday 10 December.
Led by Christ the Redeemer Church with a brass brand, visitors can also enjoy mince pies and some warming mulled wine. Although this is a free event, be sure to book your ticket to guarantee a space in this small venue.
On Friday 22 December, the magnificent Ely Cathedral will come alive with Hark! The Herald – an evening of traditional carols and other seasonal music performed by the Cathedral Choir and accompanied by Prime Brass.
However, you’ll need to act fast, since tickets to this hotly anticipated event are almost sold out. If you do miss out, there will also be carol services led by the choir with plenty of opportunities for your participation, taking place at 6pm on both 23 and 24 December.
Visit elycathedral.org/events to secure your spot now.
King’s College Chapel: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Since it was first broadcast in 1928, the Christmas Eve service at King’s continues to attract millions of listeners as an iconic event.
This year, the service will be broadcast live across the world from 3pm via BBC Radio and MPR.
For those hoping to be in with a chance of attending in person, set a date to apply for the annual ballot for next year’s tickets, which typically opens on 1 November.
Fairhaven Singers: Music for Advent and Christmas
Taking place in the spellbinding setting of Trinity College Chapel on 10 December, this annual Christmas concert is a highlight of the festive calendar for choir members and audiences alike.
The programme includes a mixture of seasonal favourites and new revelations, with masterpieces from the likes of Parry, Howells and Poulenc interspersed with carolling classics and offerings from the likes of Annabel Rooney and Iain Farrington.
Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy one of Cambridge’s most beautiful buildings and an unforgettable performance. Oh, and did we mention that a glass of wine is included in the ticket?
Book now at fairhavensinger.org.uk