Eleven-year-old Laurence Kilsby from Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire, and Jaquelyne Hill from St Andrew's, West Tarring in Sussex are the winners of this year’s Chorister of the Year competition from the BBC. Congratulations to both of them. Their performances were outstanding and the duet at the end was really moving.
I've been making my Christmas fruitcakes. Each one takes about a pint of bourbon and they have to age for a few weeks before they are ripe. Maybe it was sampling the bourbon (to make sure it had not gone bad) that made me feel Christmas-y so I put on some carols.
One of my first and favorite Christmas CD's is The Choirboy's Christmas by that charismatic little chorister, Anthony Way. I like this album for a number of reasons, he's young here so his voice is pretty and he's backed up by the St. Paul's Cathedral choir and the English Chamber Orchestra, two fantastic groups.
Also, most of the songs here are traditional English carols so they were new to me. I wonder why these songs are not more well-known over here, or at least, why I had never heard them before I bought this CD a couple of years ago.
Everyone knows carols like Joy to the World, Silent Night and Away In a Manger, but I fell in love with songs like Sussex Carol, Dancing Day, In the Bleak Midwinter and The Holly and the Ivy.
I can never get enough of Balulalow but then who can? Too bad I can’t say the same thing for The Twelve Days of Christmas.
The Brits have grown up with these songs but for the Americans who haven’t discovered them it’s really nice to add some new songs to your Christmas carol repertoire.
This album has especially powerful versions of O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. The choir of St. Paul’s brings something special to all of the songs.