A Free Performance Of “Ceremony Of Carols”!


It’s not Christmas unless…

I catch a live performance of Benjamin Britten’s gorgeous 1942 choral composition “Ceremony of Carols.” Brings me right back to my college choral days, it’s all I can do to keep from joining in the alto line! It’s a religious text, written in Latin (“Hodie Christus Natus est”) but primarily in mid English (“Wolcum Yole”; “There is no Rose of such virtu, Alleluia.”) A complex, modernist approach to acapella vocal harmony, the radiant score and haunting harp accompaniment (including an emotional harp solo which you may very well recognize) creates an intricate sound that grabs my soul and brings tears to my eyes – so powerful is this sacred music.

Luckily, living in a city as musical as NY, there are many performances of this glorious piece during the Holiday season, but this year I located a free performance on December 18th @ 4PM at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church.  So it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We’d love to know…what’s your favorite thing to do this time of year? Comment below or email us at info@usedyorkcity.com, and your response may just end up on our special holiday edition podcast!

By: Joanne Theodorou


  • Gabrielle says:

    How beautiful, it feels almost exactly the same to a piece I heard once when stumbling across a cathedral in Germany a couple of years ago. Beyond beautiful!


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