Christmas carols have long been an interest of mine even before I went to University. It started with a couple of trips to the Sheffield region to visit some of the carol sings in that area in the run up to Christmas. The carols they sing are not from the common repertoire but are distinctive to the area. This got me interested in the idea that there might be local carols from Wiltshire (where I live) and the surrounding counties. I and my husband Chris joined forces with other people who had been having similar thoughts. The result was the Bradford on Avon carol sings.
These have their own website where you can learn all about them. Suffice to say here we sing in three pubs every year. There are many singers and a band of a dozen or more musicians singing carols from Wiltshire, Somerset and elsewhere. I have several roles in this: researching new carols, leading the carols band and leading a series of learning sessions each November teaching the carols to interested people ready for the big sings in December.
More about the Carols Learning Group
I started a free singing group to learn the Bradford on Avon carols in harmony started in 2017 and everyone really enjoyed it and came back the following year for more. So of course we’re doing it again. We meet every Sunday starting on 27th October at 2pm in the coach house behind the Swan Hotel in Bradford on Avon.
All parts will be taught ‘by ear’ so you don’t need to be able to read music. What’s more it’s free to get in. Don’t worry if you can’t make every session because you don’t have to commit to attending every week.
On 7th December, the last Saturday before the pub carols start, there will be a special session with the carols band. Bring your friends to this one in particular because even if they don’t want to learn the harmonies they can familiarize themselves with the tunes and enjoy the atmosphere of singing with the band.
After that we sing them in the pubs.