Yule Songs project: Create and collaborate on original winter anthems

Writer Graham Palmer, and composer and Adopt a Music Creator mentor Jenni Pinnock, call on East of England singing groups to take part in producing secular winter songs. 

Spring may finally be upon us, but many music directors and committees will already be thinking ahead about what to programme for winter. Curating a diverse range of repertoire during the festive season can be a challenge, a challenge which the Yule Songs project hopes to make a little less trying.  

We are looking to recruit leisure-time singing groups in the East of England to collaborate with us on creating a series of new winter songs, which shift the focus a little from the purely religious celebrations. 

We’re looking for a diverse range of groups to work with. You could be a youth choir or a WI group. You might be a bunch of parents bringing babies to rehearsals, or a SATB choir with a full programme of concerts every year. Maybe you wassail the apples or sing for health, maybe you sing by ear or learn every line from the dots. However, you sing and make music we’d love to hear from you! 

                                               Register your interest by Friday 7 April

The seed for this project first sprouted during discussions with other choral music directors about winter repertoire. They highlighted a real lack of non-religious winter music out there, especially for leisure time choirs. The same festive numbers tend to be pulled out often and may jar with non-Christian group members, or those who just fancy a change. Yule Songs aims to fill this gap with new secular winter anthems.  

We will work with leisure time music groups across 2023-2024 to explore topics, create text and musical ideas that have a meaning to them, before combining them into group-specific pieces to rehearse and premiere as part of winter performances. Workshops will happen either in the usual rehearsal space/time or online, and printed music will be provided, so this opportunity won’t cost participating groups anything other than their usual rehearsal and performance costs.  

Although we are looking to work with groups in the East of England for the initial stage of the project, once the premiere has taken place, the songs will be made available to all in multiple arrangements. They will also be free to download, making them accessible to all for future performances. So, everyone can enjoy and use the creations the groups come up with! 

Deadline is Friday 7 April 

For more information about the project including FAQs and to register your group’s interest, please visit the p|arts website 

Jenni Pinnock