Village Carols is a non-profitmaking
organisation which exists to record and promote local carol singing
traditions. Its main roles are undertaking fieldwork and research,
organising the collection of source material, and promoting local
carol singing traditions.
Fieldwork and research
This takes two main forms:
interviewing carol singers about
their traditions and recording the actual singing (preferably,
in the correct context);
investigating record offices,
libraries and archives for relevant references to local singing
and music manuscripts.
Organising the collection of source material
The hundreds of
tape recordings and manuscripts are steadily being indexed and
organised into a usable archive for which there is public access.
The recordings of the carols are being copied and the copies placed
in the National Sound Archive (British Library) and in the Archives
of Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield.
Promoting local carol
This is largely
done through the production of the cassette/CD and book series. To
date, there are ten sets. For details, please see
Village Carols publications.
An order form is also downloadable on that page.
describes his approach to research, recording, documentation and
publication in a paper written for the Folklore Journal in 2006,
and reproduced here.
Festival of Village Carols
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 first Festival was in 1994, and, apart
from the year 2000, has always been held at the Community Centre in Grenoside.
To mark the
Millennium, the Festival took place on Saturday 2 December 2000 at
the Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield. The 2002 Festival featured the
Glen Rock Carolers from Pennsylvania, USA at Grenoside on Saturday
30 November 2002. See the
Festival was on Saturday 1 December 2012 in the Grenoside
This year we
welcomed back as our guests the Glen Rock Carolers from York
County, Pennsylvania, and the Hathersage Carollers from
Derbyshire. At the Festival the new Derbyshire Book of Village
Carols was introduced, and several pieces from it us as part of
the day's singing. Details below
Derbyshire Book of Village Carols
is now published!
edited by Ian Russell
It contains 85
carols, many of which have not previously published, from
10 different villages. They are presented in full score with
reduction with an illustrated introduction, notes on the
bibliography and index. It forms a companion volume to /The
Book of Village Carols/.
edition is £15 and the hardback is £25.
Details and Order Form,
(as PDF file) etc., here
The Sheffield Book of Village Carols
edited by Ian Russell
New Edition is now
Details and Order Form, etc., here
available recordings and publications:
Downloadable Flyer and Order Form - Break Forth in Song ! [1458 kB] - pdf
There are also two accompanying booklets for the CD, which are downloadable.
and Best - CD and Tape Set (both available)
Hark, Hark, What News - CD and Tape Set (both now available)
released on CD:
Village Carols from Foolow in the Peak District
Of the three
collections of carols, only the first
is still available, but all the South Yorkshire carols are available in the
Sheffield Book of Village Carols,
edited by Ian Russell.
A major new
Derbyshire collection of carols is in preparation and should be
available for Christmas 2012.
We regret that
copies of all other publications and recordings are now
unavailable due to the demand for them.
Order Form for Cassettes,
CDs and Music Books:
is directed by Ian Russell. He is Director of the
Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, and can be
contacted by email via
primary headteacher, he was the Editor of
Folk Music Journal
from 1980 to 1993. Link
here to read a little more about
Dr. Ian Russell's work at Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Village Carols, PO Box 2099, Sheffield S35 0XU
Break Forth in Song
Words and music indexes of the
- Index of first lines with links to words
- Index of tune names with links to words
Douglas, who ran the Carols section of the
South Riding Folk Arts
Network website, sadly died in 2010.
Pat Malham and Frazer Jarvis have taken up his mantle, and have createda new web site for
Local Carols in South Yorks. and
North Derbyshire at
Check back for
updates as and when available.
Site maintained for Village
on behalf of the
West Gallery Music Association
by Edwin Macadam
30 Eynsham Road, Botley,
Oxford, OX2 9BP.
You are Visitor No.
September 23rd, 2005
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