How does one get tickets for this? You don't. You stand outside in line, or queue, as they say. Since we're here this year, we thought we'd try to go. The website says that if we're in line by 9 am we'll get in. The service is at 3 pm, so we should be good and frozen by then!
If you'd like to listen on Christmas eve, here's a selection of stations that say they'll be broadcasting it live on Monday, Dec. 24:
- San Antonio: Texas Public Radio 88.3 FM, 9 a.m.
- Austin: KMFA 89.5 FM, 9 a.m.
- Washington, D.C.: WETA 90.9 FM, 10 a.m.
- Louisville: Classical 90.5, 10 a.m.
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin Public Radio, 9 a.m.
- Detroit: ??? (Anyone?), 10 a.m.
- Seattle: ??? (live would be at 7 a.m.)
- In the UK, you can listen on BBC Radio 4 at 3 p.m. (Not sure if that link works from the US.)
- You can also listen to a previous broadcast here.
We've taken in some other music as well. Earlier this month we went to a performance of the Wren Choir and Orchestra at Pembroke College's Chapel. The college is one of the older ones -- founded in 1347. The chapel itself (right) was designed in 1665 by Christopher Wren, slightly more famous for designing St. Paul's Cathedral.
The music was Reinhard Keiser's Dialogus von der Gerburt Christi, sung in German. The choir did a beautiful job -- although I'm not sure the oratorio will ever be a hit. We enjoyed the evening out, though, and had the traditional Madeira and mince pies afterwards, followed by a stroll around campus. Its a pretty one, full of nooks and crannies and courtyard after courtyard.
Then, last night we went to a charity carol concert at Great St. Mary's church, which is the official church of Cambridge University. Great St. Mary's has been in the city center since the 1200s, albeit in a different form, as a meeting place for the university. The carol concert was lovely! The main choir was from two of the local hospitals, and a choir of schoolkids joined them for a few songs as well. It ended with a rousing rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.
Our favorites, though, came from a 5-piece brass band. They did a gorgeous version of O Holy Night, and then Vivaldi's Winter. They wrapped up with a piece called "The Saints' Hallelujah." The director explained that it was an arrangement done by a Canadian group that had the chance to play for HM The Queen. Her favorite piece was the Hallelujah Chorus, and theirs was When The Saints Go Marching In. So, the band came up with an arrangement to accommodate both:
Prime Brass at Christmas Carol Concert from dceditors on Vimeo.