Christmas would not be completed without carols.
From the traditional Away in the Manger to the modern Jingle Bell Rock, the songs are part of a tradition that began more than a thousand years ago.
The first carol, just like Christmas, hearken back to Winter Solstice celebrations. They were sung by pagans as they danced round stone circles – the word carol originally meaning a dance or a song of praise and joy.
Carols used to be written and sung during all four seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas has really survived.
The earliest carol was written in 1410 but sadly only a very small fragment of it still exists today.
It told the story of Mary and Jesus meeting different people in Bethlehem.
Rayne Beveridge and his troupe of singers and musicians are keeping the tradition of carol singing alive with a concert Thursday.
Silent Night happens to be his favourite carol.
“It’s the collaboration of voices and the excellent scoring for the orchestra, and always being that most intimate carol that embodies the spirit of the season, he says.
A Choral Christmas will feature the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts adult choir singing Lean On Me, Baby its Cold Outside, Hallelujah, Get Along, White Winter Hymnal and White Christmas.
There will be a solo performance by Beveridge, who is now a scholarship student studying in UBC’s opera program.
The UBC Opera Quartet featuring Beveridge, Shane Hanson, Simone McIntosh, and Jonny Michel, will also perform as will Jonathan Reichert.
The singers will be accompanied by the Ridge Meadows Orchestra featuring Peter Tam, Julie Sellars, Ethnee Roodt, Colin Murray, Carlos Monzon, Kevin Monzon, Agneta Eikelenboom and Joelle Pan.
A Choral Christmas plays The Elektra, 22541 Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge on Thursday, Dec. 19. Tickets for dinner and the concerts are $35, concert only tickets are $15. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite.