Sir David Willcocks: A Celebration in Carols marks the 95th birthday of one of the most acclaimed choral conductors, editors, and arrangers of our time. A survey of his work, the collection brings together many of Willcocks's best-loved carol arrangements, spanning his career as co-editor of Carols for Choirs and as conductor of the UK's finest choirs. It includes a selection of his original compositions too, and gives an overview of the styles and traditions that have enhanced the Christmas musical experience of thousands of singers and listeners. As an affectionate birthday tribute, A Celebration also includes specially-commissioned new carols by John Rutter, Bob Chilcott, and Jonathan Willcocks.
Born in 1919, David Willcocks began his musical career as a chorister at Westminster Abbey, later winning scholarships to Clifton College and King's College, Cambridge. Following war service, he was elected Fellow of King's College, and later became Organist of Salisbury and Worcester Cathedrals, conducting the Three Choirs Festival whilst at Worcester. Willcocks returned to King's College, Cambridge as Director of Music from 1957-1974, with the first collection of his arrangements in the Carols for Choirs series publishing in 1961. He was Director of Music at the Royal College of Music from 1974-1984, and was knighted in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Honours List in 1977. Willcocks also conducted The Bach Choir for 38 years, retiring in 1998. Sir David died in September 2015.
Away in a manger ; I saw three ships ; O come, all ye faithful ; Sussex Carol ; Infant holy, infant lowly ; Tomorrow shall be my dancing day ; Hark! the herald-angels sing ; Quelle est cette odeur agreable? ; Gabriel's Message ; Birthday Carol ; Resonemus laudibus ; Jingle, Bells ; Lullay, my liking ; High Word of God, eternal Light ; Starry night ; Rejoice and sing! ; Nowell, nowell ; There is no rose