• Vaughan Williams, This Truth is sent from above 
  • Stuart Nicholson orch. John Rutter, Ding Dong Merrily on High 
  • Roxanna Panufnik, Ave Maria 
  • Handel, For unto us a child is born (from Messiah) 
  • Bob Chilcott, While Shepherds Watched 
  • Will Todd, We Three Kings 
  • Darius Battiwalla, In dulci jubilo 
  • Jonathan Scott, Christmas Celebration 
  • John Rutter, Gloria Patri (from Magnificat) 
  • Mendelssohn arr. Wilcocks, Hark the Herald 
  • Leroy Anderson, Sleigh Ride 
  • Philip Lane, The Night Before Christmas 
  • J. Forbes l'Estrange & A. L'Estrange, Presence 
  • Sklyar & Beck, Sparklejollytwinklejingly 
  • Jonas Brothers, arr. Mac Huff, Like it's Christmas 
  • Kristina Arakelyan, Star Fantasy 
  • John Rutter, What Sweeter Music 
  • Arr. Willcocks, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 
  • Arr. Ledger, O Come All Ye Faithful 
  • Arr. Chilcott, We Wish You A Merry Christmas 


From Anna Lapwood

I’ve been looking forward to returning to the CBSO family for months, and it feels particularly special to be here at Christmas, a time of year when music-making seems to have that extra little bit of sparkle.

Today’s programme contains so many old favourites - I can’t help but grin whenever I hear ‘Sleigh Ride’ - but also some new discoveries by Roxanna Panufnik, Will Todd, and the Forbes L’estranges.

I so enjoyed working with the Orchestra and Youth Chorus a couple of years ago, and I can’t wait to enjoy their music-making once more, as well as sharing a couple of my Christmas favourites on the organ.

Jonathan Scott’s ‘Christmas Fantasy’ brings together five carols in a medley that encapsulates so many of the emotions we feel at Christmas, from excited anticipation through to hyperactive joy, via heart-rending nostalgia. Kristina Arakelyan’s ‘Star Fantasy’, meanwhile, paints a vivid picture of the Magi’s journey to visit the baby Jesus.

I have to say I’m particularly excited about narrating ‘The Night before Christmas’, which is a bit of a bucket-list item for me.

But I think what I'm most looking forward to is hearing the full might of the combined choirs, orchestra and audience singing ‘O Come all Ye Faithful’ at full pelt. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being part of music-making on that scale, something which I think we’re all appreciating even more in the aftermath of Covid. It’s pure magic when you feel the energy of more than two thousand people all pouring into the same moment, the same music and the same sound - it just seems to radiate joy, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Join us in the New Year

What's on
  1. Birmingham Opera Company: New Year

  2. Photograph of women singing as part of SO Vocal

    SO Vocal at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

  3. Symphonic Sessions: Summer of Sport

  4. At the CBSO Centre: National Youth String Orchestra

  5. Photograph of Kazuki Yamada and the orchestra receiving a standing ovation at the Royal Albert Hall

    Prom 43: Pictures at an Exhibition