Music old and new to launch Christmas season

Familiar seasonal favourites combine with new carol settings by some of the finest contemporary British composers at St Albans Choral Society’s ever-popular Christmas concert at 7pm on Sunday 13 December in Marlborough Road Methodist Church.

The choir will perform the prize-winning Chanticleer by composer Richard Harvey, who is their regular rehearsal accompanist and will be playing the organ. Chanticleer, which refers to the cockerel proclaiming the dawn of a new age, won the Crouch End Festival Chorus 30th anniversary carol competition.  

Also on the programme are the uplifting motet O Radiant Dawn by James MacMillan, the leading Scottish composer of his generation, and A Winter’s Night, a cantata based on traditional European carols by Cecilia McDowall, the Society’s composer in association.  

“Many of our regular audience regard this concert as the real start of the Christmas season,” said George Vass, music director. “There will be many carols for the audience to join in, together with festive readings from members of the choir – a feast of music old and new.” 

Tickets for “A Celebration of Christmas” cost £13 (£1 for children) and are available from SACS Ticket Line on 07884 231958 or online at