Cuntzertu di Aidomaggiore from Sardinia

The Festival of Village Carols

Saturday 1 December 2018

Grenoside Community Centre, 9.30am – 11.00pm (Grand Sing, 7.30pm)


Guest Groups

Cuntzertu di Aidomaggiore from Sardinia
Eyam Carollers from Derbyshire
Carollers from the Blue Ball, Worrall, in South Yorkshire

Cuntzertu di Aidomaggiore come from a small village in the province of Oristano near Lake Omodeo in the west of Sardinia. They sing in four parts, closely facing each other, as is the practice throughout the island. Their chants (carols) are performed in church to celebrate the feasts of the Epiphany (unique in Sardinia) and Holy Week (Easter), as well as other special occasions. They also sing in informal contexts and have secular (profane) chants in their repertoire. See

The Festival of Village Carols is a celebration of the remarkable carol singing traditions that flourish in the villages around Sheffield and beyond. Our aim is to help participants learn the vocal and instrumental parts of some of the local carols at workshops during the day. These are performed by everyone at the Grand Sing when there is also the opportunity to hear each of the guest groups perform carols from their own tradition.

Of the carols that have been chosen for the workshops, several are from Worrall and district, where there existed, until the 1970s, a tradition of stringed instrumental accompaniment. The parts are transcribed from family manuscripts as used by the legendary ‘Big Set’, the name given to the local carol party, who toured Bradfield, Loxley, Wadsley, Worrall, and Oughtibridge every Christmas Day and Boxing Day, up until the Second World War. The accompaniments together with the ‘symphonies’ capture the intricate and exciting music, both sacred and secular, that village bands created in the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries.

The list of carols for all to sing will include a special focus on the Stannington tradition: Hark, Hear Ye Not, Awake my Harp, Fern Bank, and Malin Bridge. There will be three Derbyshire carols: Lo, The Eastern Magi Rise (Coal Aston), Foolow Doxology (Foolow), and On the Dew Besprinkled Dawn (Dore). Plus the well-known favourites: Back Lane, Birley Edge, Diadem, Good News, Pentonville, Portugal, Ye Sons of Men (Grenoside), and Merry Christmas.