On this Christmas CD we hope you enjoy the wide range and styles heard – from the 13th Century plainsong of Veni Emmanuel to the current pop song Mistletoe by Justin Bieber. This CD has a collection of Christmas carols old and new. The choir recognises the importance of history and tradition, but also looks to the future and supports contemporary composers. See Amid the Winter Snow, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and O Come All Ye Faithful are all still favourites for many today. A New Year Carol was composed by the prolific English composer Benjamin Britten. The carol comes from a selection of songs from the larger scale work Friday Afternoons. This work was composed for the pupils of Prestatyn School, where the composer’s brother was the Headmaster and the title refers to the fact that Friday was the day when singing activities were held in the school. The carol is a British folk song of Welsh origin, traditionally sung in the New Year celebrations involving sprinkling people with water newly drawn from a well. Another English composer featured on the CD is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ arrangement of I Saw Three Ships. This comes from the larger scale work of Nine Carols For Male Voice Choir. Vaughan Williams arranged these carols during World War I for the ‘choir’ he developed among the men in his Field Ambulance unit. The CD also includes three international carols by the prolific American composer Mack Wilberg. The first is the French Carol Noe! Noe!. This is followed by the Austrian carol and lullaby Still, Still, Still. In this the words describe the peace of the infant Jesus and his mother as the baby is sung to sleep. The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy is a spirited arrangement for four hands and percussion, and is in the calypso style of a traditional West Indian carol. Christmas in the Trenches is a ballad by the American folk writer and singer John McCutcheon. It tells the story of the 1914 Christmas Truce between the British and German lines during the Great War from the perspective of a British soldier. Performing and commissioning works is an important part of the choir’s schedule. The CD features a number of carols by Welsh composers and arrangers. These include Robat Arwyn, John Tudor Davies, Gareth Glyn, Brian Hughes, Myfyr Isaac, Caryl Parry Jones and the late W S Gwynn Williams. A number of the carols on the CD have been specially arranged for the choir by the choir’s Musical Director Aled Phillips.