PGS: Hodie! Contemporary Christmas Carols


Performed by Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir and Sam Gladstone.


About this release

‘Hodie! Contemporary Christmas Carols’ brings together a compelling selection of contemporary Christmas carols and arrangements, a snapshot of a rich and exciting repertoire of Christmas music. Four of these pieces were commissioned in recent years for the annual Christmas Carol Service at The Portsmouth Grammar School: Malcolm Archer’s Angels from the Realms of Glory, Alexander L’Estrange’s Hodie!, Richard Rodney-Bennett’s Coventry Carol and Tarik O’Regan’s Ecce Puer.

About the artists

Sam Gladstone


Formerly Organ Scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, Sam studied music at Cambridge University, graduating with a double rst and several college prizes. As Organ Scholar at Jesus College Cambridge he accompanied the Chapel choirs on tour, BBC broadcasts and CD recordings. He was also the founder-conductor of the Jesus College Chamber Orchestra and played for services with the King’s College Mixed Choir, King’s Voices.

Sam was, for five years, Deputy Master of Music at the Chapels Royal, Her Majesty’s Tower of London. He performed with and directed the professional choir at concerts, services, broadcasts and state occasions. During this time, he was Organist in Residence at Brafield College and studied for a PGCE at the Institute of Education (University of London), going on to teach music at Whitgift School in Croydon.

Prior to moving to Portsmouth in January 2012, Sam was Assistant Director of Music at Sevenoaks School. At Sevenoaks, he founded the Sevenoaks Chamber Choir, taking them on tour three times to France and Spain. As well as having responsibility for the Lower School Curriculum, he coached several Chamber Groups to the semi- nals and nals of the Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival, and conducted the 200-strong combined choral society and parents’ choir alongside professional ensembles Fine Arts Brass and Voces8.

At thee Portsmouth Grammar School, alongside leading the vibrant and busy music programme at the school, Sam has been Music Director for The Producers and Mack and Mabel at the King’s Theatre, Southsea, and directed school ensembles in world premieres, collaborations with professional soloists, and concerts in venues throughout Portsmouth and further afield.

Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir

The PGS Chamber Choir is the school’s premier vocal ensemble, one of over 40 ensembles at the school. In addition to leading school services and concerts, they have broadcast on BBC Radio and Television as part of the DDay70 commemorations and their recording of Christmas music, Hodie!, was listed as a Recommended Recording by the Royal Schools of Church Music in 2014.

An annual highlight is the Remembrance Concert, performed alongside the school’s Associate Musicians the London Mozart Players, with whom the choir has an ongoing programme of commissions by leading composers.

In September 2015, the choir joined the Oxford Bach Choir, conductor Nicholas Cleobury, the LMP and tenor soloist Nicky Spence to record one of these commissions, Jonathan Dove’s powerful cantata For an Unknown Soldier, for Signum Records. In 2016, the choir is premiering three works by the school’s then Associate Composer, Alexander Campkin, culminating in a thrilling choral day for hundreds of singers from the school led by Dominic Peckham.

The choir toured Italy in July 2016, performing as part of two local festivals and for Mass at St Mark’s Basilica, Venice.

CD Booklet
  • Ding Dong! Merrily on high - arr. Mack Wilberg
  • Away in a manger - arr. David Hill
  • Ecce Puer - Tarik O'Regan
  • Sussex Carol - arr. Philip Ledger
  • Sing Lullaby! - arr. David Hill
  • Lux Arumque - Eric Whitacre
  • No small wonder - Paul Edwards
  • O little town of Bethlehem - arr. Bob Chilcott
  • My Lord has come - Will Todd
  • In the bleak mid-winter - Thomas Hewitt Jones
  • Coventry Carol - Richard Rodney Bennett
  • This is the truth sent from above - arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Angels from the realms of glory - Malcolm Archer
  • Silent Night - arr. Bob Chilcott
  • Wexford Carol - arr. Ken Berg
  • Hodie! - arr. Alexander L'Estrange
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Catalogue number: CR024

Choir Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
Organist Oliver Hancock
Horn Lucy Brown
Flute Phoebe Pexton
Conductor Sam Gladstone

Photography Various
Engineering Adaq Khan, Kevin Hodgson
Editor Isa Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Producer Andrew King
Creative Director John Bevan
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Recorded 3, 4, 5, 6, January 2014
Venue St John’s College Chapel, Cambridge
Total Duration 52 mins

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