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.
Promoting local carol singing traditions
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.
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.
Ian Russell 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.
The 2012 Festival was on Saturday 1 December 2012 in the Grenoside Community Centre.