Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Andrew Gant Interview Christmas Carols Church Choir Book 2014…..
Everyone loves a carol – in the end, even Scrooge. They have the power to summon up a special kind of midwinter mood, like the aroma of mince pies and mulled wine and the twinkle of lights on a tree. It’s a kind of magic.
But how did they get that magic? In this musically illustrated talk, Andrew Gant tells that story, unravelling a captivating – and often surprising – tale of great musicians and thinkers, saints and pagans, shepherd boys, choirboys, monks and drunks.
He delves into the history of such favourites as Good King Wenceslas, Away in a Manger and The Twelve Days of Christmas, discovering along the way how Hark, the Herald angels sing came to replace Hark, how all the welkin ring and how Ralph Vaughan Williams bolted the tune of an English folk song about a dead ox to a poem by a nineteenth-century American pilgrim to make O little town of Bethlehem.
Enjoy an Exclusive interview with Andrew Grant and Alex Belfield recorded Christmas 2014:
Andrew Gant is a composer, church musician, university teacher and writer.
He studied Music and English at St John’s College, Cambridge, singing in the choir as a tenor choral scholar in the choir directed by Dr George Guest, and winning the Arthur Quiller-Couch Prize for his opera “Blake.” He was a professional singer for some years, leading six-man vocal ensemble “The Light Blues” on tours all over the world, singing with many leading ensembles and holding the post of Lay Vicar at Westminster Abbey, while at the same time continued composing, and took his M.Mus from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Paul Patterson.
A doctorate from Goldsmith’s College followed, supervised by Peter Dickinson, Edward Gregson and Sadie Harrison.
In the early 1990s Andrew lived and worked in Cambridge, leading the choir at Selwyn College and supervising music students. He subsequently directed the choirs of The Guards’ Chapel and (following a move to Oxford), of Worcester College, and in 2000 he took up the post of Organist, Choirmaster and Composer at Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, and has led the choir at a number of notable events including 2011’s wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and 2012’s Diamond Jubilee service. He left the Chapel Royal in July 2013.
Andrew has recently signed two contracts with Profile Books: “Christmas Carols: A Celebration”, and “A History of English Church Music”.
Interview recorded by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 26th November 2014.