11 December 2017
We are delighted to announce that our Calypso Carol will be played on Classic FM at 6.30pm on Wednesday 13 December 2017. It’s a wonderfully upbeat carol written by Michael Perry (1942-1996) for a college carol concert in 1964, before he became an Anglican vicar. Cliff Richard made it famous when he included it in a selection for radio. Our version was arranged by our Music Director Darius Battiwalla for brass band accompaniment and features the incomparable Black Dyke Band.
Chorus Chair Paul Henstridge explained ‘Each year Classic FM chooses five carols from submissions sent in by choirs from across the country, and we are thrilled that they have chosen another of the carols from our Awake Arise! CD after being successful in 2015 with Joy to the World from the same album. We hope listeners will enjoy the carol as much as we and the band do!’ Classic FM were really impressed by the standard; ‘what a very strong set of candidates we had this year – it’s been a real pleasure to listen to them!’
Many of the carols on Awake Arise! were chosen for their connection with Yorkshire’s long choral tradition, or with Sheffield in particular. Local traditional carols have been sung around the area since the late 19th century. Written by local folk, they are sung with enthusiasm and joy, mostly in local pubs. Local carols on this recording include ‘Awake, Arise’, ‘Hail, Smiling Morn!’, ‘Hark Hark’ (Tyre Mill) and ‘Christians, Awake’ (Egypt). Well-loved Christmas classics include ‘Joy to the World’, ‘I Saw Three Ships’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’. Darius Battiwalla’s arrangement of ‘O Holy Night’ was commissioned by the Chorus in memory of its former membership secretary, Miriam Gilchrist, and has become a firm favourite at our annual Christmas concerts at Sheffield City Hall.