The Ebor Singers to celebrate Christmas with Handel and Britten carols at St Olave’s

The Ebor Singers: Christmas concert at St Olave’s Church

THE Ebor Singers serve up a double festive treat of Part One of Handel’s Messiah and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols in A Christmas Celebration in York on Sunday, December 18.

This is the second of the York choir’s Christmas concerts, wherein the 7.30pm programme will be performed in the intimate surroundings of St Olave’s Church, Marygate.

The choir will be joined by a string quartet and organist Keith Wright for Handel’s work; harpist Rachel Dent for Britten’s carols. Solos will be taken on by choir members.

“Part One of Handel’s Messiah takes us from prophecy to the birth of Jesus, and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols takes up the story of the nativity,” says musical director Paul Gameson. “Although 200 years separate these two works, they both speak with similar directness and freshness.

“Handel draws on the most popular musical genres of the day for his Messiah: part-German passion, part-Italian opera, part-English anthem. Britten followed a trend of his contemporaries, exploring medieval poetry, but his music – scored for female voices and harp – established the new quintessential ‘sound’ of Christmas music.

A Christmas Celebration also showcases pieces from The Ebor Singers’ new album of American Christmas music, Wishes And Candles.

Tickets (£15, concessions £12, students aged 16 plus £7, children free) are available from or on the door.

The Ebor Singers mark release of American Christmas album Wishes And Candles with candlelit concert at St Lawrence’s Church

The Ebor Singers: Two Christmas concerts in York

PAUL Gameson directs The Ebor Singers tonight in an evening of beautiful choral arrangements for Christmastide at St Lawrence Parish Church, Lawrence Street, York.

The 7.30pm concert, A Christmas Celebration By Candlelight, also marks the launch of the York choir’s CD recording of Christmas music by contemporary American composers, Wishes And Candles.

Pieces from the disc, featuring works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Dan Forrest, Abbie Bettinis and Matthew Culloton, will be complemented by festive compositions by John Rutter and Bob Chilcott.

“We’re looking forward to sharing music from our new album,” says Paul. “It took two years to put this together, thanks to a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus between recording sessions, so it was particularly enjoyable completing this in April this year.

“Music by Lauridsen and Whitacre is featured, but so too are other composers whose names and music deserve to be more widely known, such as Forrest, Bettinis and Culloton. There’ll also be some audience-participation carol singing, so bring your voices too!”

Tickets (£15, concessions £12, students £7 (16 plus), children free) are on sale at or on the door.

A Christmas Celebration is the first of two Christmas concerts in York for the choir, who will perform Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah (featuring the Christmas story) and Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols on Sunday, December 18 at 7.30pm  at St Olave’s Church, Marygate. Tickets: