Celebrate Christmas with Birmingham Bach Choir

A firm fixture on the city’s packed festive calendar, Birmingham Bach Choir return to St Alban’s Church, Birmingham, for a service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 16 December 2018.
The exceedingly popular annual afternoon event (which traditionally takes place on the last Sunday before Christmas), features a series of Bible readings telling the Christmas story, with seasonal music performed by the choir, interspersed with congregational carols.
Led by conductor Paul Spicer and accompanied by organist Paul Carr, join in with such seasonal favourites as O Come All Ye Faithful, Once In Royal David’s City, Hark The Herald Angels Sing and It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.
Meanwhile, the choir will perform beautiful arrangements of well-loved carols including In The Bleak Midwinter, as well as some lesser known songs, including Howell’s magical Here Is The Little Door and his Magnificat, plus an arrangement of Sir Christèmas. Written by David Hughes (a bass singer in the choir), Sir Christèmas was first performed last Christmas on Radio 3 as one of the six finalists in the BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition 2017.
Though a long-held annual tradition, this year marks Birmingham Bach Choir’s third consecutive visit to St Alban the Martyr, in Highgate, Birmingham – a beautiful Grade II* listed Gothic Revival church with strong Pre-Raphaelite connections, built in the late-1880s for the growing inner city population.
Sarah Platt, Chair of Birmingham Bach Choir, said: “Close to the city centre, St Alban’s is a magnificent venue for our traditional afternoon Nine Lessons and Carols service, which epitomises the true spirit of Christmas, and offers a moment of calm during the frantic run up to Christmas Day.
“We’re very much looking forward to singing this year’s selection of familiar favourites as well as lesser known though beautifully moving carols, such as John Rutter’s Nativity Carol, Richard Dering’s Quem Vidistis, Pastores and the wonderful pieces by Herbert Howells.”
Join Birmingham Bach Choir for Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 16 December 2018 at St Alban’s Church, Conybere Street, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0YH at 3.30pm. Admission is free (with a collection during the service). For more information, see: www.birmingham.bachchoir.com 
LISTINGS
Sunday 16 December 2018
Nine Lessons and Carols
Join Birmingham Bach Choir for a traditional festive service, featuring a selection of carols.
St Alban’s Church, Conybere Street, Highgate, Birmingham B12 0YH
3.30pm
Free / donations
Full programme:
Congregational carols:
O come all ye faithful
Come Thou Redeemer
Lo, he comes
It came upon the midnight clear
Of the Father’s heart
Once in royal David’s city
Hark the herald angels sing
Choir carols:
Gabriel’s message (arr Willcock’s)
Quem vidistis, pastores (Dering)
There is no rose (Duncan Fielden)
In the bleak midwinter (Darke)
Sir Christemas (David Hughes)
Lully, lulla (Leighton)
Here is the little door (Howells)
Ave Maria (Carl Rütti)
Magnificat (New College, Oxford) (Howells)
Nativity Carol (Rutter)
ABOUT BIRMINGHAM BACH CHOIR
 
As one of the UK’s leading large chamber choirs Birmingham Bach Choir has been contributing to the musical life of the West Midlands since 1919, making it one of the longest established musical groups in the area. Although the main focus is the Baroque period (especially JS Bach), the choir performs music spanning over 500 years including 20th and 21st century works.
“Stunning … great waves of beautifully phrased eloquence … constant fascination” 5 stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Byrd’s The Great Service, March 2018)
“Sounding awesomely impressive.” 4-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Great Russian Sacred Music, November 2016)
“This was a reading luminous in its clarity, exhilaratingly detailed in the fine-etched shaping and balancing of its contrapuntal lines, and delivering diction of unaffected immediacy.” 4-stars – Birmingham Post (reviewing Bach’s B Minor Mass, December 2017)
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