Well they say you learn something new every day... did you know that the tradition of wassailing falls into two distinct categories? Not only is there the traditional house-visiting wassail (which has moved on a little from going door-to-door singing and offering a drink from the 'wassail bowl' in exchange for gifts to 'carolling') but there is also the orchard-visiting wassail which refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year...
We all extol the extensive benefits and healing powers of singing, which we have all missed so much over the last 18 months or so, and whilst we may not be singing to trees (more likely to be rhubarb here in Yorkshire!), our choirs will be 'wassailing' whenever and wherever possible with renewed energy to promote well-being, joy and goodwill for the coming year!
We know that venues are being booked, music is being chosen and festive posters are appearing so we've put together a playlist of recordings we have for Christmas music in our catalogue and picked out 5 best-sellers which are eternal favourites - of course.... 'Here we come a wassailing' is one of them (though sadly we have no recording as yet... if you can help with providing one, please get in touch!)
OUR TOP FIVE BEST-SELLERS!
'Here we come a wassailing' by Tim Knight
A rollicking Christmas carol which sets these traditional Yorkshire words for SATB and Organ which was first performed at Leeds Minster, Christmas 2012, to a rousing applause.
'In the bleak mid-winter' by Peter Thompson
A best-selling setting of these famous words from the melodious pen of Peter Thompson which is suitable for SAB or STB choirs with Piano or Organ accompaniment.
'Love came down at Christmas' by Tim Knight
A Christmas Carol for SAB and Piano written specifically for the Accessible Choral Library to give these wonderful words an SAB lyrical setting. Available in printed and PDF formats.
'The Waiting World' by Simon Mold
A beautiful Carol for upper voices and piano accompaniment with words and music by Simon Mold. The recording is by the Promenade Girls' Choir at St Andrew's Church, Walton-on-Thames.
'A Tender shoot' by Tim Knight
A unison Christmas carol written for St Giles, Durham in 2014. This piece will work with Piano or Organ and is especially suited to young voices. The piece is available in printed or PDF format. Read the wonderful review on the product page by Choir & Organ Magazine.
NEW FOR 2021
'How lies this little child' by Tim Knight
Simple Flemish Christmas Carol arranged for either Solo Voice or small Unison choir and Piano (any voices). The added optional Flute part also gives scope for a small ensemble piece. Available in printed and PDF formats.
'Puer Natus in Bethlehem' arr Tim Knight (Rheinberger)
A new addition to the ACL series for Christmas for SA voices and Piano or Organ, the translation of which is 'A child is born in Bethlehem'. An arrangement of this engaging and charming piece from the tunesmith from Liechtenstein, Joseph Rheinberger. Available in printed and PDF formats.
OTHER CHRISTMAS MUSIC
Titles for Smaller Choirs in the Accessible Choral Library
'On this day the earth shall ring' by Peter Thompson (2pt/Organ)
'Away in a manger' by Tim Knight (2pt/Piano)
'How far is it to Bethlehem' by Mark Harris (2pt/Piano)
'Coventry Carol' by Toby Huelin (2pt/Piano)
Titles for Mixed Voice Choirs by Tim Knight
'What Sweeter Music can we bring' (SATB/Piano or Ogan)
'Before the paling of the stars' (SATB/Piano)
'While Shepherds Watched' (SATB/Piano/Flute)
'Sweet was the song' (Unison/Piano)
Titles for Male Voice Choirs by Tim Knight
'Hodie Christus Natus Est' (TTBB/Piano)
'I saw three ships' (TTBB/Piano)
'Silent Night' (TTBB/Flute or Violin)