December 2021

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Welcome to The Arts Society North Bucks
Thursday, December 16, 2021 -
11:00 to 12:30
Lovat Hall
Silver Street Newport Pagnell MK16 0EJ

A lecture/recital exploring the wealth of Christmas music, traditions and legends that are connected with them.

Our first  'post-Covid' live lecture in our usual venue, Lovat Hall. Please note the change of date to 16 December.

The celebration of the period following Christmas can be traced back several millennia, and to at least two cultures – neither of them Christian. One of them is the southern Roman feast of Kalends on the 1st January, and the other, the northern Nordic festivals of Yuletide surrounding the celebrations of the Winter solstice.

However, it was Pope Julius I who decided to subvert the gluttony, drunkenness and sun worship to Christian purpose, and by choosing the 25th December to celebrate the birth of Christ, he neatly bridged these cultures and paved the way for future Christmas festivities. And so it is that many of our modern Christmas customs and carols bear references to traditions that have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Nonetheless, each year, Christ’s birthday on 25th December signifies the beginning of twelve festive days of celebrations and music making.

In this lecture-recital Peter Medhurst explores the wealth of Christmas music, traditions and curious legends that are connected with them. Music performed includes: Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, The Coventry Carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Wassail Song, The Three Kings – Cornelius. To enhance the seasonal atmosphere, wine and mince pies will be served after the lecture!


Mr Peter Medhurst

Peter appears in the UK and abroad as a musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.