Christmas Choir Time fun for the Choristers
At the end of the Christmas term, the choristers had a week off before returning to school on 15 December for a ten-day spell of Choirtime. Whilst recent Choirtimes in the Easter and Summer holidays have since returned to normal, this was in fact, the first fully typical Christmas Choirtime for three years (since the pandemic began).
The boys kicked off with the Cathedral Christmas Concert and a few Christmas Evensongs to get into their stride and ready for the hugely popular carol services, one of the three linked here: 12-19-22 Cathedral Carol Service I, live from Winchester Cathedral 🇺🇦
These are magical services starting with the Once in Royal David's City solo. Also, Adam Lay Y Bounden, and The Lamb and Bethlehem Down which, in my opinion, are some of the best.
This year also saw the return of carols in our local pub, The Wyk. Again, this is a hugely popular occasion and exciting for the boys. The applause and cheering following each carol were gratefully welcomed by the Choir who don’t normally receive this kind of feedback in the Cathedral itself! They also sang at a local nursing home, bringing festive cheer to the residents.
Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Christmas Eve’s Blessing of the Crib service were also packed out. It seemed to me that congregation attendances throughout this period were record-breaking, with standing room only at times. The boys completed their time with the three services of Christmas Day – Matins and Eucharist then a festive lunch back at school with all the families before returning for Evensong and heading home.
What did the boys get up to when they weren’t singing? Well, there was the Turkey Feast hosted by the Dean and Chapter, a visit to the Kings and Scribes exhibition at the Cathedral, Call My Bluff, a gingerbread house decorating competition, climbing at Winchester Leisure Centre, Avatar II at the cinema, Capture the Flag – in the dark - and plenty of Grid football.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day..... actually, if you’d like to know more about these, or indeed about the Turkey Feast, find a Chorister and ask him. I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you all about it...