Ok, so it's not quite Christmas yet. In truth we're still 43 sleeps away, but the annual John Lewis Christmas advert has already hit the screens. You can even read all about it and all of the others in this compilation from The Evening Standard and compare and make notes as you go.
Christmas has already begun in schools across the country as the annual pilgrimages to the school Nativity and Carol Services beckon. Diaries have been cleared, expectations are high. “Who will be the donkey?” “Who will sing the Once in Royal solo?” “Will it snow?” “Will we drink mulled wine?” “Will they ask me to dress up as Father Christmas?” “Christmas jumpers!”
They say that there is a song for everything, and this year is no exception. I decided to make a video for my nod to Christmas with Ho! Ho! Ho! (It's Christmas Time!). It's a bit silly, but it is festive and includes Father Christmas, a reindeer and an angel, mulled wine, a snowman and an over-active carrot! While I will not be featuring this song during our Christmas celebrations, I certainly intend to enjoy a glass or few of mulled wine!
Christmas preparations are full steam ahead. Rehearsal schedules have been finalised as I spread myself between an Early Years nativity, a Year 1&2 Christmas production (How Rudolph Got His Red Nose) and our senior Christmas Concert which include traditional carols and other favourite Christmas songs. Audience-participation will be required and the children will intersperse the music with some excellent poetry.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS! The music is just so special, and I anticipate this year will be no exception. I am hugely fortunate that I have some outstanding musicians to work with at the top end of the school. For one such group, a string quartet, I have arranged I Wonder As I Wander for them to accompany a small chamber choir. It sounds exquisite already and we still have just under 4 weeks to go! This will be performed as we all reflect on those who are not as fortunate as us during this time of year.
I am looking forward to the Seniors (Years 3-6) perform Mary's Boy Child. Originally by Harry Belafonte in 1956, it was later released as a Christmas single in 1978 by Boney. M and provides ample scope for a joyous rendition. Ours will be funky and there will be a trumpet, as well as some additional percussion to enhance the singers. For Years 3&4, I will be reincarnating a new carol, The Manger which I wrote for Thomas's Kensington Preparatory School 15+ years ago. Years 5&6 will sing Winter Wonderland which I believe really sets the tone for Christmas. Alongside Once in Royal David's City and Away in a Manger, the audience will also be encouraged to join in with Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and We Wish You A Merry Christmas! The girls will perform two further carols, Just Another Star by Karl Jenkins & Carol Barratt, and a rousing I Saw Three Ships which I have had a play with and arranged for quite a folky outcome. We will see how it goes soon…
One final reminder about my new Christmas song, Ho! Ho! Ho! (It's Christmas Time!) is up on Youtube here. Enjoy!!