For the Montreal public, it marks the official start of the Christmas season. For the rest of Canada, it's a beloved broadcast tradition on CBC Radio One, CBC Radio 2 and CBC Music.
The 38th annual CBC Christmas Sing-In takes place Sunday, Dec. 10, at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and Bourgie Hall in Montreal. The concert starts at 3 p.m.; doors open at 2. Katherine Duncan, host of Choral Concert on CBC Radio 2, will be in Montreal to co-host the Sing-In this year alongside Sean Henry of CBC Montreal News.
Every year since 1980, Montrealers have thronged to this annual concert featuring the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. At this year's edition, there'll be beautiful arrangements of lots of familiar carols — "Ding! Dong! Merrily on High," "I Saw Three Ships," "I Wonder as I Wander," to name a few — plus original choral music by John Rutter, Morten Lauridsen and Will Todd.
The Sing-In Brass and Percussion will boost the excitement for the sing-along carols, including "O Come All ye Faithful," "Joy to the World," "Good King Wenceslas" and other favourites.
Back for his third CBC Christmas Sing-In, Jean-Sébastien Vallée will be the conductor. (Watch this rapid-fire interview we did with him.)
CBC Sing-In organist Jonathan Oldengarm is director of music at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. He recently gave us a fun demonstration on the church's mighty Casavant organ:
Advance tickets to the CBC Christmas Sing-In have sold out, but there will be a limited number of tickets available onsite the day of the concert. Admission is free, but donations will be received to support West Island Community Shares, a group that distributes funding to 41 non-profit groups in the West Island area of Greater Montreal.
For those outside Montreal, there are many ways to enjoy this concert.
On Dec. 10, starting at 2:55 p.m. ET, you can watch the live webcast of the CBC Christmas Sing-In on CBC Music's Facebook page.
Starting Dec. 14, the full audio of the concert will be available for streaming on CBC Music.
The CBC Christmas Sing-In will comprise the final hour of Joy to the World, CBC Radio 2's annual Euroradio holiday music special. Tune in Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. to hear it.
Katherine Duncan will host two broadcasts of the CBC Christmas Sing-In on Dec. 25. The first will be at 1 p.m. on CBC Radio 2; the other at 4 p.m. on CBC Radio One.
The Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul released a new Christmas album on Nov. 17. It's called LUX, and it's currently streaming on ICI Musique. (Full disclosure: the album was produced by the author of this post.)
More to explore:
One of our finest yearly traditions, a perfect seasonal mix of concertos, carols, and hits from the choral, vocal and instrumental repertoire. Cozy up in front of the fire and delight in a wide range of gifts from this musical tree, from Handel's Messiah and Bach's Christmas Oratorio to Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride.