The Boys of King's College Choir
From the UK Telegraph:
"It is precisely 10 seconds to air for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge. The college’s director of music, Stephen Cleobury, looks one boy chorister directly in the eye and gestures for him to step forward. Only then does the soloist learn that he has the honour of singing, unaccompanied, the opening verse of Once in Royal David’s City.
“The boys might speculate on which one of them I’ll pick, but not actually telling them until seconds beforehand is the only way to avoid nerves,” says Cleobury. “This way the boy performs in the heat of the moment. I always have three or four candidates in mind, but if I revealed their identity even a day before, the pressure would be far too great.”
Since becoming director – and therefore musical mastermind – of the choir in 1982, Cleobury has had no refusals or disasters. “I am incredibly precise in indicating who I want,” he says. “One of my predecessors once beckoned to a boy and two stepped forward simultaneously.”
I'm going to be listening to the live Christmas Eve service, The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast from King's College Chapel in Cambridge, England. It will be presented at 3 PM at Cambridge, which is 9 AM in Wisconsin. Listen to Minnesota Public Radio, KSJN, 99.5 FM or BBC Radio 4.
You can view the complete program at King's College website. A .pdf of the service booklet can be found in the middle column.
Mark your calendars. That's a week from today, Friday the 24th of December. Don't miss it! I wouldn't be surprised if you decide to make it a Christmas Eve Day tradition too! :-)