Sing Ye Choirs of Angels

by Derek E. Nickels, DMA, Director of Music

One of the Rituals and Traditions of our journey of faith is our Annual Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent, which will be on Sunday, December 6th at 5:00 p.m. This service, with its readings from Genesis, Isaiah, Luke, Matthew, and Mark illuminates the proclamation of the Christ's birth and helps set the tone of the short season of Advent and joyous season of Christmas. Each of the readings will be followed by music by Ireland, Brahms, Nickels, Rickards, Willcocks, Manz, and hymns of the Advent Season. Like last year, our Youth Choir will join the Adult Choir in this beautiful service of music and readings.

This year during the Advent and Christmas seasons, many choirs around the world will probably be singing many of the anthems, carol and hymn arrangements written by Sir David Willcocks with special meaning since his death this past September 17th at the age of 95.  Born in Cornwall, England on December 30, 1919, David Valentine Willcocks began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Abbey.  He served as Organist and Master of the Choristers of Salisbury Cathedral (1947-1950), and Worcester Cathedral (1950-1957) before succeeding Boris Ord as Director of Music at King's College, Cambridge.  It was during his tenure at King's that Sir David became internationally acclaimed through the television and radio appearances of the choir's international tours.  In 1960, he became the musical director of the London Bach Choir, and later served as the Director of the Royal College of Music from 1974-1984.  One of his most enduring legacies is the collection of carol arrangements and descants that were published in five Carols for Choirs anthologies from 1961-1987 with Reginald Jacques and John Rutter.  Here at Holy Comforter, the music of Sir David Willcocks is heard every year at our Advent Service of Lessons and Carols, and throughout Christmas Eve.