Mak­ing a joy­ful noise this sea­son

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

WHEN the cur­rent direc­tor of the King’s Col­lege, Cam­bridge choir, Stephen Cleobury, took over in 1982, he be­gan a fresh fes­tive tra­di­tion by com­mis­sion­ing a new carol each year for in­clu­sion in the beloved Christmas Eve ser­vice A Fes­ti­val of Nine Lessons and Car­ols.

For Michael Berke­ley, the com­poser of this year’s work, the per­for­mance will be par­tic­u­larly spe­cial—his fa­ther, Len­nox Berke­ley, was the first com­poser com­mis­sioned by Stephen Cleobury for this honour in 1983.

A tra­di­tional 15th-cen­tury Christmas text set to mu­sic, Mr Berke­ley’s This En­dernight will be per­formed dur­ing the fa­mous ser­vice, which has been held at King’s since 1918 and is now broad­cast to mil­lions of peo­ple around the world.

Live on BBC Ra­dio 4 on De­cem­ber 24 at 3pm, the ser­vice is free to at­tend and, although the queue tends to form a day be­fore, those who ar­rived by 9am in pre­vi­ous years were suc­cess­ful in get­ting a seat. There’s a cafe in­side the col­lege grounds and the chapel doors open at 1.30pm (

Here, we present the many op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­joy the an­gelic mu­sic of cathe­dral choirs across Bri­tain this Christmas, mainly in the Nine Lessons and Car­ols for­mat. Most are free to at­tend, un­less it’s in­di­cated that you need a ticket. Katy Bir­chall

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