- 1Ding Dong! Merrily On High18th Century French Arr. Mack Wilberg
- 2Away In A MangerWilliam Kirkpatrick Arr. David Hill
- 3Ecce PuerTarik O'Regan
- 4Sussex CarolTrad. English Arr. Philip Ledger
- 5Sing Lullaby!Trad. Basque Arr. David Hill
- 6Lux AurumqueEric Whitacre
- 7No Small WonderPaul Edwards
- 8O Little TownBob Chilcott
- 9My Lord Has ComeWill Todd
- 10In The Bleak MidwinterThomas Hewitt Jones
- 11Coventry CarolRichard Rodney Bennett
- 12This Is The Truth Send From AboveTrad. Herefordshire Arr. Vaughan Williams
- 13Angels, From The RealmsMalcolm Archer
- 14Silent NightFranz Gruber Arr. Bob Chilcott
- 15Wexford CarolTrad. Irish Arr. Ken Berg
- 16Hodie!Alexander L'Estrange
Hodie! Contemporary Christmas Carols
PGS Chamber Choir, Sam Gladstone, Oliver Hancock
- ConductorSam Gladstone
- ProducerAndrew King
- Creative DirJohn Bevan
- Exec ProducerAdrian Green
- RecordedKevin Hodgson
- EditorIsa Khan
- MixingIsa Khan
- MasteringAdaq Khan
- OrganistOliver Hancock
- HornLucy Brown
- FlutePhoebe Pexton
Hodie! Contemporary Christmas Carols
‘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.
On This Disc
The school has developed a national reputation for commissioning new works by contemporary composers, and this recording by the school’s Chamber Choir at Jesus College, Cambridge, is a balanced blend of well-known melodies and new ideas by contemporary composers, with a few classic Christmas items thrown in for good measure.
The Portsmouth Grammar School Chamber Choir
The PGS Chamber Choir is the school’s premier vocal ensemble, consisting of pupils from year 9 to the Upper Sixth. Within the ranks of the choir are members of national and regional ensembles, school music scholars, diploma holders, and national competition winners. Several members of the choir also sing with Portsmouth Cathedral Choir and Cantate, the Cathedral Youth Choir, with which the school has a strong relationship.
The Chamber Choir plays an important part in the rich and varied musical life of the school. As one of over 45 different ensembles rehearsing every week, they take part in some of the 60 concerts put on by the school each year. Each year, they perform a major choral work at the school’s Gala Concert, accompanied by an orchestra of the school’s most advanced musicians, and sing evensong annually at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. They also sing at school services, perform regularly in the local community and in June 2014 joined the Portsmouth Cathedral Choirs in BBC Radio and Television broadcasts as part of the national D-Day commemorations.
A highlight in the school calendar is the annual Remembrance Concert, first held in St Thomas’s Cathedral in 1997. In 2013 the Chamber Choir performed Britten’s War Requiem alongside the Portsmouth Choral Union and Southern Pro Musica, soloists Elizabeth Meister, James Oxley and Duncan Rock. In 2001, the London Mozart Players became the school’s Associate Musicians and as part of this Associateship, the PGS Chamber Choir and LMP have an ongoing programme of commissions by leading contemporary composers. The most recent, Song of Names by Roxanna Panufnik, was conducted by internationally renowned conductor Nicholas Cleobury and featured the PGS Chamber Choir alongside the Portsmouth Cathedral Choristers, the LMP and Covent Garden baritone Nigel Cliffe. Librettist and music critic Norman Lebrecht praised the “ferocious energy” of the performance, writing that “Every consonant and crotchet was emitted as if it were a matter of life and death. And when the big tune came into play for the first time, every hair in the cathedral must have stood on end.”
Sam is Director of Music at The Portsmouth Grammar School.
Formerly Organ Scholar at Peterborough Cathedral, Sam studied music at Cambridge University, graduating with a double award 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 Kings College Mixed Choir, Kings 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 Bradfield 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-finals and finals 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 the 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.