Yale performers featured on new Christmas CD

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"Ceremony of Carols" was recorded at the Yale Divinity School.

A new CD of Christmas carols performed by the treble vocal ensemble Etherea — whose members are mostly Yale affiliates —and recorded at Yale Divinity School (YDS) is hitting the radio waves this holiday season.

Released on the Delos label, and taking its title from Benjamin Britten’s Christmas song cycle “Ceremony of Carols,” the CD debuted on Nov. 15 as #4 on the Billboard classical chart, and now in its sixth week continues near the top of the chart, according to the producers. In addition to Britten’s songs, the disc’s selections include many traditional carols, among them “Good King Wenceslas,” “In dulci jubilo,”  “I Saw Three Ships,” “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” and other folk melodies in arrangements by 20th-century composers.

The eight women and male counter-tenor who make up the ensemble are accompanied by harpist Grace Coultier (YSM ’05). The founder and director of the ensemble — and the group’s counter-tenor — Derek Greten-Harrison, is a staff member at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music (ISM). Other Yale-affiliated performers include Arianne Abela (ISM/YSM ’10), Awet Andemicael (ISM/YDS ’10), organist Alan Murchie (ISM/YDS ’07), Lucy Fitz Gibbon (YC ’10), and Rebekah Westphal (director of international admissions for Yale College). The NPR radio station WSHU (91.1 FM) will air John Rutter’s “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” from the CD on Dec. 20, at or around 11:20 a.m.

A preview can be seen on YouTube and excerpts can be heard on iTunes.

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