St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10

Britten 'A ceremony of carols' 30.11.20

Choral Christmas 

30th November 2020

Benjamin Britten, (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He was a really important composer in British music, writing music for choirs, opera, choirs and orchestras.


A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28, is a choral piece by Benjamin Britten which he wrote in 1942 when he was at sea, sailing from America to England. There are 11 songs in it using poems for the words which sometimes use old English words or Latin. The piece is usually sung by children. It is written for trebles which are young boy voices but often girls sing too! It is accompanied by a harp.


This song is called 'This Little Babe'. It is written for 3 different parts. Everyone sings the first verse. In the second one, the first choir starts and then the rest of the children sing the same thing but a bit later. This is called a canon. Both tunes are the same but sung at different times. It then gets really tricky as in the third verse, all three choirs sing the tune at a different time. Try and listen out for some of the repeated words or tunes. 

Britten's Ceremony of carols : This little babe