One of the really nice aspects of working as Composer-in-Residence at Jersey College for Girls this year is being able to work with their Chamber Choir. During the past few months, I have had the opportunity to conduct the group through a range of repertoire and variety of different performances. Particularly exciting has been the chance to write new music for the ensemble.
Christmas Carol, my first commission from Jersey College for Girls, takes as the starting point a poem of the same name by the brilliant American poet Sara Teasdale. What I loved about the poem was the fact that it specifically invokes music, and the notion of singing bringing the shepherds and wisemen to visit the baby Jesus. As a result of this, I've interpolated an 'Alleluia' refrain between Teasdale's verses, so that the choir functions both as narrative, and then as the voice of the angels themselves. I hope that many other choirs in the future will sing and enjoy this piece.
This recording was made from a live performance in the Christmas Service, at St Thomas's Church, Jersey. Performed by JCG Chamber Choir and conducted by Toby Huelin.