For many across the world, it wouldn't be Christmas Eve without the annual broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from the chapel at King's College Cambridge. First held in 1918, the festival of readings and seasonal music has evolved over the years, commissioning new carols that have expanded the choral repetoire and broadening its reach, first through radio and more recently via online streaming.
This year, Director of Music Stephen Cleobury will lead the choir for the 37th and final time as he prepares to retire next September. He will be the featured guest this Saturday (12/22 at 7 pm) on A Tempo, as host Rachel Katz speaks with him about the history of the service, his experiences in leading it, and the role it has played in the broader world of choral music. The program will also feature an interview with Westminster Choir College professor James Jordan, who in 1992 launched that school's own Evening of Readings and Carols, about how the King's College sevice has served as an inspiration for other choral programs.
(A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be broadcast Monday at 10 am).