Sompting Abbotts pupils launch Christmas album to the public

Children aged 2 to 13 at Sompting Abbotts Prep School have recorded a 16-track album of traditional Christmas carols to bring some festive joy to their parents who can't this year attend their usual Christmas Nativity and Carol Services.

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4th December 2020 — The album, available to the public to buy as an MP4 on the streaming service Bandcamp, features choral solos of Once in Royal David's City and Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and a solo cello performance of Walking in the Air.

Each year group has contributed a carol, with the entire school coming together to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Other classic carols on the album are songs by the school's Chamber Choir and include the 15th-century lilting Coventry carol album, Lully, Lulla, Lullay, by British composer Philip Stopford, Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful.

Another Carol is Emmanuel, especially composed by the school's Head of Music Annette Williamson and arranged for piano, cello and voices.

"It has been a challenge recording the album given the extended social distance requirements we have to abide by," said Headmaster Stuart Douch. "But fortunately we have small classes and a large Assembly Hall which not only has wonderful acoustics, it also gave us the space we needed to make it all possible."

The school was helped in the recording by a parent Mr Paul Baker who is a professional sound recordist and musician. The project was also supported by the Sompting Abbotts' Parents Association which is hoping sales of the album will help fund the school's 100th centenary celebrations in 2021.

Its chairperson Mrs Jane de Vos said: "We are so proud of how hard the children have worked. The album will definitely get people in the festive mood and it will make a lovely Christmas gift to send to grandparents who have missed out on this year's Christmas performances. It would be lovely to have it play over Christmas dinner too."

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Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School (Coed 2-13) is a day school in West Sussex.

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