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Cornish carols from around the globe

18 December 2018

sheet music

Truro Cathedral will hold a carol service featuring Cornish carols gathered in USA and Australia by PhD student Kate Neale.

Having recently submitted her PhD, Kate Neale is researching the repertoire, transfer and development of carol traditions from Cornwall to overseas communities in Grass Valley, California, and the Copper Triangle in South Australia. She has travelled to these locations around the world in search of these carols.

The service, taking place in Truro Cathedral on Thursday 20 December, will bring together carols which emigrating Cornish people took with them as they departed the UK in search of work, fortune and spiritual freedom during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Kate has collected a library of carols from families, archives, libraries and chapels. At this special concert, they will return to their homeland, at last, to be sung by Cornish singers.

Singers from across the county will come together to form three community choirs, each of which will sing three carols from Cornwall, South Australia and California. They are led by musical directors Emma Mansfield, Hilary Coleman, Matt Thomason and Giles Wooley.

Kate will also speak at the concert, introducing each section and sharing discoveries from her travels.

Speaking of the concert and her research, Kate said: “It’s been a complete pleasure and a privilege to study this music and the communities who treasured them from the 19th century to today. I’m so excited to hear these carols being sung by choirs in Cornwall, and hearing them in Truro Cathedral is going to be wonderful. The reaction from the singers has been great, and I hope we can continue to celebrate the connections with our distant cousins in California and South Australia through song!”

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