Chorus Day – A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28

Apparently, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols was written for Christmas, but the UNC Women’s Glee Club sang this at our Spring 2003 concert. Our concert was near Easter, so I think our director was thinking it would also work for Easter. Well, since Easter is this Sunday, this is fitting. This collection of songs were a HUGE part of my mental soundtrack in Spring ’03. Whenever I hear them, I’m transported back to my Sophomore year at UNC. That’s how it usually works with choir. The songs you sing in a specific semester become the soundtrack for that period of your life. At least, that’s the case for me. 🙂

The Ceremony of Carols contains eleven movements. Quoting the list from the video’s description:

1. “Procession” (“Hodie Christus natus est”, Gregorian antiphon to the Magnificat at Second Vespers of Christmas)
2. “Wolcum Yole!”
3. “There is no Rose” (Trinity College MS 0.3.58, early 15c)
4a. “That yonge child”
4b. “Balulalow” (The brothers Wedderburn, fl. 1548)
5. “As dew in Aprille” (Sloane 2593, first quarter 15c)
6. “This little Babe” (from Robert Southwell’s “Newe Heaven, Newe Warre”, 1595)
7. “Interlude” (harp solo)
8. “In Freezing Winter Night” (Southwell)
9. “Spring Carol” (16c., also set by William Cornysh)
10. “Deo Gracias” (Sloane 2593)
11. “Recession” (“Hodie”)

My favorite movement by far is #3, “There is no Rose”. I also like #5, “As Dew in Aprille”, #6, “This Little Babe”, and #8, “In Freezing Winter Night”.

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