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Classical Notes

Once in Royal David's City...

Posted at 9:18 AM on December 24, 2009 by Alison Young (3 Comments)
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

For 90 years, this simple carol has opened A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England.

Our broadcast host Michael Barone told me that the boy choristers all learn the first solo verse and don't know who will sing it until the conductor Stephen Cleobury points to the lucky one right before he has to sing!

It's an exciting moment and a beautiful service. We carry the Festival live this morning and repeat it tonight at 5:00 - Don't miss this Christmas Eve tradition of word and music!


Comments (3)

I want to thank you for the great Christmas music that you continue to play year after year.

Last year I had major heart problems and was home bound through the Christmas Season. You saved my Christmas with the beautiful music.

This year, I am well, but listen to you all the time.

Thanks and keep up the great traditions.

Blessings to you all as we celebrate the birth of Christ

Posted by Nate Rathjen | December 24, 2009 11:54 AM


I'll second that. I really love the Festival of Lessons and Carols every year. It's hard to be the holiday music on MPR.

Posted by Jon Erik Kingstad | December 24, 2009 11:32 PM


Here I am far away, and alone, in The Maldives (Indian Ocean) on assignment. I am a former resident of Minnesota, now based in my home country in Africa, from where I came to the Maldives for a short stint of work. I am thankful for the web links that give me your great programming in Christmas Music and classical music. It is simply fabulous. And to imagine that there is a repeat of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England? Thank you. PS the Maldives is a beautiful country, and 100% Muslim. There are no Churches, Christian Events, Christmas, etc. in Male’ the capital. But thankfully, I can listen in to wonderfully therapeutic and lifting Christmas and classical music privately in my temporary home in the Maldives. I am immensely grateful to you for the truly world class programming.

Posted by E. K. TORKORNOO | December 25, 2009 2:31 PM