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Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Bolton School Girls' Division's Ceremony of Carols offered a
joyous and festive evening as the bleak mid-winter rattled against
the windows of the School's Great Hall.
The girls of the Chamber Choir opened the concert as they
processed into the hall with the evocative plainsong melody
Hodie. Headmistress Miss Hincks welcomed the large gathering
of governors, parents, staff and friends of the School before the
Joint Chamber Choir offered up rousing renditions of a number of
well-loved carols including In the Bleak Mid-Winter and Once in
Royal David's City, where they were joined by the whole
There were then many highlights in what was a wonderful evening
of Christmas music, prayers, reflections and readings.
The combined choirs sang John Gardiner's lively version of
The Holly and the Ivy and the exquisite five-part arrangement of
The Three Kings by Peter Cornelius; the singing of these two
delightful pieces having become a Bolton School Girls' Division
tradition. The Senior Choir performed an enchanting setting
of the sacred Scandinavian Christmas carol Gaudete as well as
Rutter's Star Carol and a spellbinding interpretation of Stille
Nacht, which was accompanied by a harp.
The Middle School Choir performed an enchanting version of
Schram's Snow is Falling as well as an inspirational Do They Know
its Christmas? Not to be outdone, the Junior
Chamber Choir delivered an uplifting and enchanting version of
Albrecht's Mary Sat A-Rockin'. The Shepherd's Farewell, sung
by the Chamber Choir and The Linden Tree Carol performed by the
"Accidentals" provided further memorable moments during the
Throughout the evening there was an emphasis on audience
participation and they certainly lent their stirring voices to
Christmas favourites including O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark!
The Herald Angels Sing, While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by
Night and Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!
There were a variety of beautiful readings, notably Since
Love is Shivering, I Sing of a Maiden, Singing in the Streets,
Incarnation, St John Chapter 1, T S Eliot's Journey of the Magi and
the Carol Ann Duffy's armistice poem Peace in the Trenches.
The Ceremony of Carols was brought to a moving and atmospheric
conclusion by the whole hall singing Adeste Fideles and the
recession, by candlelight, of the girls of the Chamber Choir
A retiring collection raised £901.17 on the night and the money
will be presented to the Bolton Hospice. Afterwards members
of the congregation were invited to the Dining Room for seasonal
refreshments to a further musical accompaniment.
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