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S4C launches its Christmas Carol Competition 2007

15/08/2007

This year’s Christmas Carol Competition run by S4C and the Daily Post was launched today at the National Eisteddfod in Mold.

Composers and budding composers are invited to compete for the £1,000 prize in the contest – the ninth to be held annually.

The winning carol will be performed at the Thousand Christmas Voices concert sponsored by the Daily Post at the Llangollen International Pavilion and broadcast on S4C over the festive period.

Three of the winning carols in the competition in past years were composed by entrants from the Swansea area. The other three winners came from Glan Conwy, Llandudno and Exeter in Devon.

Rob Nicholls, S4C Content Editor Culture, said, “This competition goes from strength to strength. We expect a large number of entries again this year.

“The competition gives S4C a special opportunity to contribute to the creation of Christmas music and to providing a high profile for composers and singers during the festival. The first performance of the winning carol will be on a stage known throughout the world - the stage of the International Pavilion at Llangollen in a concert broadcast by S4C.”

Conducting the singing on this special occasion will be Alwyn Humphreys and the presenters will be Robin Jones and Branwen Gwyn.

The competition is open to people of all ages, either individuals or groups. The words and music should be original and the words may be in Welsh or English. Entries for the competition – closing date 28 September – will be accepted on cassette, DAT, mini-disc, CD or manuscript (a typed copy of the lyrics must be provided).

Send your carol, along with a signed application form to –

Cyfathrebu

S4C

Parc Tŷ Glas

Llanishen

Cardiff

CF14 5DU

NOTE TO THE EDITOR

The competition’s main rules are:

The lyrics and music must be original and the carol must be unperformed.

The lyrics can be in English or Welsh.

Entries for the competition will be accepted on cassette, DAT, mini-disc, CD or manuscript.

Closing date: 28 September 2007.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

One of the earliest known Christmas songs is one from the fourth century, ‘Jesus refulsit omnium’, composed by Saint Hilary of Poitiers.

The first known Welsh Christmas carol is ‘Ar Fore Dydd Nadolig’ (On Christmas Morning) which dates back to the 16th century when Wales was a Roman Catholic country.

During the 12th century, Christmas carols were formally introduced in church services by St Francis of Assissi.

Carols were banned in England between 1649 and 1660 by Oliver Cromwell who believed Christmas should be a solemn day.

The word carol comes from the old French word ‘caroller’, which means dancing around a circle. It comes from the Latin ‘choraula’ and it comes in turn from the Greek ‘choraules’.

One of the best known carols, ‘Silent Night’ (Dawel Nos), was written in 1818 by an Austrian priest, Joseph Mohr, to be sung with guitar accompaniment as the church organ had broken and could not be repaired in time for Christmas Day.

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