As our concert on Friday nears, I am thinking of Sir David Wilcox, who passed away earlier this year.
Although in his nineties, it seemed (to me at least) he would live forever. For many singers, familiar with his Christmas Carols for Choirs books (“the green book and the orange book”), his arrangements of many Christmas carols became canonical, the standards, indeed a central part of the sound track of the Christmas season.
Heard so often in services such as the deeply moving Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols made famous in King’s College Chapel, and a staple of so many Christmas concerts worldwide, his beautiful, sensitive arrangements bring such joy; I grew up with them, and they are part of my own personal Christmas experience; without them the season for me would be diminished, and just a little bit empty.
At our concert on Friday, we (and you!) will be singing a few Christmas classics made magical by his deft arrangements. Sir David has passed, but his genius will always be part of Christmas, and in that sense he will live forever, as long as Christmas continues to be Christmas. We hope you will join us this Friday night for a small taste of how he made Christmas special.