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'Carols with St Paul's Cathedral Choir': a new recording

‘Carol of the Bells’ released: 13 November 2015 and new album ‘Carols’ released on Decca/Classic FM: 20 November 2015

The Cathedral Choir is making an early bid for Christmas No.1 with festive favourite ‘Carol of the Bells’.  

The song, famously used in feel-good film Home Alone, is taken from the choir’s forthcoming album of carols, which marks its first recording on the Decca label.

The choir, which has been performing in London’s iconic venue for nearly 900 years, will be competing for the coveted Christmas No.1 spot against relative newcomers, as they go head to head with the likes of Adele and this year’s X Factor winner.

St Paul’s Cathedral Choir is a familiar sight around the world – performing at international state occasions ranging from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the funeral service of Baroness Thatcher.  The choir dates back to 1127, when the church took in and educated poor youngsters. Singing regularly at services ever since, it comprises 28 boy choristers and 12 men – the ‘Vicars Choral’ – and is directed by Andrew Carwood.

 The exciting new album, in partnership with Decca and Classic FM, features some of the nation’s favourite carols including Silent Night and Once in Royal David’s City alongside new works such as Philip Stopford’s touching setting of the 16th Century Lully Lulla Lullay, and the world premiere recording of Graham Jordan Ellis’s captivating There Is No Rose.

Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul's Cathedral, comments:

“This is music for Christmas, and you can't help but love the Christmas season and the music associated with it.  This is our first solo recording with Decca - so it has only taken us nine centuries to get to that state!”

 St Paul’s Cathedral helped revive Christmas Carols in the 19th Century when its organist – Sir John Stainer – published ‘Christmas Carols, New and Old’, establishing lots of the favourites still loved today.  Stainer raised the standard of choral singing at the Cathedral to new heights.

The choristers of St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir are enthusiastic and highly trained, and used to a 7-day week including services on Easter Day and Christmas Day in the world-famous Cathedral.  Earlier this year, the choir embarked on a major 7-state sell-out tour of the USA.

Watch a trailer for Carols with St Paul's Cathedral Choir

Carols with St Paul's Christmas Choir is available for pre-order from the Cathedral shop 

It will be on sale in the shop, and at Advent and Christmas events from 20 November.


1. Hark! the herald-angels sing (arr. Willcocks)

2. Once in royal David’s city (arr. Willcocks)

3. Silent Night (arr. Gruber)

4. Ding dong! merrily on high (arr. Wood)

5. There is no rose (Ellis) – world premiere

6. In the bleak mid-winter (Holst)

7. O little town of Bethlehem (arr. Vaughan Williams)

8. Carol of the bells (arr. Fischer)

9. Lully, Lulla, Lullay (arr. Stopford)

10. Gaudete (Anon.)

11. I sing of a maiden (Hadley)

12. All bells in paradise (Rutter) – rarely recorded

13. Angelus ad virginem (arr. Carter)

14. The Shepherd’s Farewell (Berlioz)

15. Benedicamus Domino (arr. Warlock)

16. O holy night (Adam arr. Rutter)

17. Adam lay ybounden (Ord)

18. A New Year Carol (Britten)

19. O come, all ye faithful (arr. Willcocks)