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Ceremony of Carols Ushers in Christmas

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A large congregation in the Great Hall of Bolton School Girls’ Division enjoyed a magical evening of festive music-making at the traditional Ceremony of Carols.

The dramatic, lamp-lit ‘Hodie’ in which the Chamber Choir processes into an otherwise blacked out hall singing the Medieval Latin words opened the evening. The audience lent their voices throughout the joyous celebration in stirring renditions of seasonal favourites including Once in Royal David’s City, O Come O Come Emmanuel, Hark! The Herald Angels SingO Little Town of Bethlehem, The First Nowell, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and Adeste Fideles. The ceremony was punctuated with a series of readings and songs by staff and pupils across all year groups, including a bidding prayer from Headmistress Sue Hincks as well as poems, song lyrics, book excerpts and biblical passages.

Various ensembles performed outstandingly during the service, including the Middle School Choir singing Star Carol, the Chamber Choir singing Do You Hear What I Hear, Glow and Mary Did You Know, the Senior Choir singing I Sing of a Maiden and Away in a Manger, The Accidentals offering up Jesus Christ the Apple Tree and Little Drummer Boy, the Combined Choirs singing The Holly and the Ivy, Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar and Still Still Still.

The evening closed with the Chamber Choir processing out in darkness whilst singing Hodie. Post-event, guests, including a large number of former pupils, enjoyed Christmas refreshments and there was a retiring collection for the Against Malaria Foundation.

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