This year’s Christmas Carol Service was held at St Mary’s Parish Church on Sunday 13th December, and drew a large congregation, filling the church. As tradition states, it started in candlelight, and a single voice rose out of the silence with the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City.
The Chamber Choir performed an exciting new commission by Will Todd, Every Gift, a setting of a text based on a poem by Lauren in MIV, who joined with the ensemble for this, its first performance. They also collaborated with the String Sinfonia and Junior Choir in renditions of extracts from Vivaldi’s Gloria. The Junior Choir sang a contemporary carol entitled Tell me ‘bout the baby by Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse, which was very much enjoyed by all. The service also featured the Junior Consort, who gave a brilliant inaugural performance, having been founded by Mrs Bethan Dudley Fryar earlier in the term. They sang a modern setting of In the bleak midwinter by Bob Chilcott. Organ and piano accompaniment was provided by Mr Christopher Totney, who will be joining St Mary's Calne as Head of Keyboard Studies from January 2016.
It was fitting that the service featured many arrangements of Christmas carols by the former St Mary’s Visiting Director of Music and School Governor, Sir David Willcocks, who sadly passed away in September of this year.