Carol for Unaccompanied Chorus and Audience Participation
Christopher Vaughan was a passionate and generous supporter of the Spitalfields Festival. When he died in 1999, a group of his friends asked me to write a piece of music in his memory. I never had the pleasure of meeting Chris, but from his friends I learned something of his eclectic musical tastes: he wasn’t particularly attracted to difficult contemporary works, but he liked a good tune, and also had a keen interest in Spitalfields Festival’s outreach work. I thought a lively Christmas carol with audience participation would be an apt memorial.
I liked the idea in William Drummond’s poem of shepherds running: it gave me the chance to write an energetic part for the audience – a good way of keeping warm in a cold church. This carol was first performed with much hilarity in December 2001, and I hope it will continue to prove entertaining.
Text: William Drummond of Hawthornden
Commissioned by Spitalfields Festival
First performance: 21st December 2001, City Chamber Choir, Steven Jones, Spitalfields Festival, London.