#TrinTogether at Christmas

It might not be Christmas as usual this year but you can still enjoy some festive treats from Trinity, wherever you are in the world and open to all.

With advent carol services kyboshed by COVID, Trinity’s Choir got together – cleverly distanced – to record nine carols. From 16 December, a carol a day is released on the Choir’s YouTube channel.

Socially-distanced Choir recording in the Ante Chapel. Photo: Trinity College

Director of Music Stephen Layton said:

The first carol is the Advent Responsory by former Director of Music, Richard Marlow. It is an ingenious setting of J S Bach’s “Wachet auf” and has been heard at the start of our Advent Carol Service for the last 35 years or so. Those who have been to the Advent service will know that Richard designed his piece to be sung by the choir spread all over the building. Little did he know the significance of this for our generation.

You can listen to the Advent Responsory and the other carols, all of which will be available by Christmas Eve on the Choir’s YouTube channel.

Choir member Harry Guthrie, in his final year studying Music, said it had been a privilege to take part in the recordings.

To record these carols whilst socially distanced in the midst of the second England lockdown was a privilege. Ensemble singing at a distance is challenging but in coping with it, we have improved as singers in ways we wouldn’t have without the pandemic.

It was wonderful to record these Christmas classics with friends; it was just what we needed after the end of a very different, but still rewarding, term. We hope College members and the wider world enjoy the finished products!

Meanwhile, Trinity’s Alumni Relations and Development Office has curated a selection of alumni contributions to a special video – Season’s Greetings – featuring carols, music and readings.

A selection of singers from the Trinity College Choir Association came together – appropriately physically distanced of course – to record a selection of festive carols, while alumna Christina Lawrie and her husband, Marcus Barcham Stevens, a Clare alumnus, performed an exclusive medley of Christmas classics.

Christmas in Hall. Photo: Merry Smoothy

The video also features the reflections and wishes for 2021 by the Master, Dame Sally Davies, the Chaplains, John Summers and Olga Fabrikant-Burke, and the Dean of Chapel and Chair of Alumni Relations and Development, Dr Michael Banner. There is a special reading by alumni, students, Fellows and staff of ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore.

Alumna Saachi Sen said she was delighted to take part in the reading. ‘It’s lovely that Trinity are making efforts to bring everyone together despite the year we’re having!’

Alumni Relations Manager, Phil Pass, said:

We are incredibly grateful to our alumni and contributors for the enthusiasm they have shown to help us to ensure we can still mark the Christmas season in a manner as close to the traditional way as possible. We very much hope alumni will enjoy seeing some familiar faces and feel the festive spirit wash over them as they watch along from their homes around the world.

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