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‘Deck the Hall’: a new musical and social history of Christmas carols by Dr Andrew Gant

14 December 2023

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Deck the Hall by Andrew Gant

‘Some carols were born to Christmas, some have achieved Christmas, and some have had Christmas thrust upon them.’ At least, that is the story according to Dr Andrew Gant’s new book, Deck the Hall: The Stories of our Favourite Christmas Carols (Hachette, 2023).

Deck the Hall presents a new musical and social history of Christmas carols. Praised by John Rutter and BBC Music Magazine for its depth of insight and entertainment value, Deck the Hall explores the stories behind the essential carols of the Christmas season.

Dr Gant studied at St John's College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar, at the Royal Academy of Music and at Goldsmith’s College, where he completed his PhD in composition and twentieth-century music. His career as a musician has included singing tenor professionally with a wide range of vocal ensembles, composition and conducting. He was Organist, Choirmaster and Composer at Her Majesty's Chapel Royal for thirteen years, directing the music at many state locations.

His research interests include the history and context of church music and the place of music in contemporary society. His teaching duties at St Peter's focus largely on practical subjects like harmony and counterpoint, orchestration and composition, with some teaching in historical subjects when appropriate.

This Michaelmas term, Dr Gant and a group of St Peter’s Choral Scholars presented his new setting of the traditional carol ‘Still, Still, Still,’ a selection from which can be heard in the background of our Instagram Oxmas video.

Learn more about Deck the Hall here.

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