News & Events

Here we come a-wassailing…

Published: November 4, 2012

“A Ceremony of English Carols” Choirs, Organ, Caroling & Wassail

Ensembles of the Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania, under the direction of Alan Baker and Susan Kelly, will offer “A Ceremony of English Carols” on Sunday afternoon, December 9th at 4:00 pm in the historic sanctuary of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, located at 35 S. Franklin Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The program will include a variety of traditional British carols drawn from the repertoire of the famed Service of Lessons and Carols presented each year at King’s College, Cambridge, as well as Benjamin Britten’s beloved Ceremony of Carols for treble choir, audience caroling, and festive organ music. A wassail reception will follow.

General admission for adults is $15.00, with tickets available at the door or by calling the Choral Society at (570) 343-6707. Children 18 and under will be admitted free of charge and a $3.00 discount will be extended to adult students, seniors, WVIA members, holders of current Lackawanna Library System cards, and members of the Raymond Hood Room at the Scranton Cultural Center.

Featured performers will include the Society’s adult chamber ensemble, The Choral Artists of Northeast Pennsylvania, and premier treble ensemble, “Cantare,” as well as organist Mark Laubach. Mr. Laubach is well-known to regional audiences as the organist and choirmaster at St. Stephen’s. While the traditional series of nine biblical lessons will not be read aloud, the texts will be printed in the program for contemplation and guide the afternoon’s musical selections, with each reading matched to an appropriate English carol. Music from Britten’s beloved setting of ancient carol texts for treble voices, a staple of the British Christmas season, will also be presented, while festive processionals, recessionals, preludes, and postludes will frame the whole of the program.

Formed in 1999 through the merger of the former Singers Guild of Scranton and the Wyoming Valley Oratorio Society, The Choral Society of NEPA serves as “the region’s voice for choral music and education,” sponsoring a series of graded choirs for children age 5-18, as well as large and small ensembles for adults. Choral Society ensembles regularly collaborate with the NEPA Philharmonic; are featured in broadcasts on the region’s public radio affiliate, WVIA-FM; and perform regularly in the region’s finest and most historic venues. Society ensembles and singers have toured internationally; performed by invitation at important state, regional, and national events and honor choirs; and participated in a number of recordings. Additional information on the Choral Society and its offerings is available by calling (570) 343-6707 or visiting the organization’s website at


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