Village Carols


Documenting English Music, Dance and Song




The Festival of Village Carols is held every two years to celebrate the remarkable carol singing traditions that flourish in the villages near Sheffield, and elsewhere. The mass singing in some of the pubs in North Sheffield and North Derbyshire, which takes place in the second half of November and all December, and which is often referred to as 'The Sheffield Carols', has been described as one of the most remarkable instances of popular traditional singing in the British Isles.


Local compositions, and Christmas songs that have been pushed out of the mainstream of our national carol repertoire with the adoption of the sanitised and limited group of 'standard' carols that now pours from our radios, tv, cd players, shopping malls and churches, have survived in these unofficial places, kept alive by the sheer love of singing of the participants.


The festival provides an opportunity not only to sing these and other local carols but also to hear performances by groups of singers from around the country singing their own traditional material. The first Festival was held in 1994, and, apart from the year 2000, has always been held at the Community Centre in Grenoside, Sheffield.


Village Carols is directed by Ian Russell. He is Director of the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, and can be contacted via the Village Carols webpage link below.


DVDs are available for the 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010 festivals.

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