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Alternative Carol Concerts in London

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Sing yourself a merry little Christmas wherever you are
It's sometimes easy to lose track of the religious significance of Christmas, but a carol concert will soon get you back on the right road. You can choose from many services in churches all round London and the rest of the country, but there are a few that take place outside of churches.

The Royal Air Force Museum in Colindale will be the location for two 1940s Christmas Carol Concerts. The Swingtime Singers will be taking a trip down memory lane as they recreate memories of World War 2 with a selection of carols and traditional songs from the period. The concerts will take place on the afternoons of 15 and 16 December.

1940s Christmas Carol Concert
1940s Christmas Carol Concert (Picture courtesy of

Remaining with the military, Macmillan Cancer Support will be holding their Guards Chapel Carol Concert on 6 December. There will be the traditional readings, plus musical offerings from soloists, choirs and regimental bands. The concert will be followed by drinks and canapés in the Officers' Mess. You can purchase tickets for both events, or just for the concert.

Unfortunately the carol singing around the courtyards at Hampton Court Palace has already sold out, so you may want to make a note in your 2013 diary to book early for this event next Christmas. This year there are two concerts each day on 17, 18, 19 and 23 December. Singing is to the accompaniment of the Epsom and Ewell Silver Band and the earlier sessions are geared more towards small children.

Carols in the Courtyard at Hampton Court Palace
Carols in the Courtyard at Hampton Court Palace (Picture courtesy of

Further along the river at Kew Gardens, there will be an opportunity to listen to school choirs singing Christmas Carols in the Orangery restaurant between 8 and 20 December.

On a more traditional musical note, weary shoppers will be able to take a rest at St Martin's in the Fields at 4pm on 15 December when the New London Singers will be entertaining you with Carols for Shoppers. Even if your legs are weary, I'm sure your lungs will still have some life left in them to join in with the singing. This is just one of a host of Christmas celebrations at the church, which is just a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square, where carol singing will also be taking place daily.

If you believe in making the Yuletide gay, then what better way to celebrate than by attending a concert performed by the London Gay Men's Chorus? It's Comin' on Christmas will be at The Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank on 7 and 8 December. LGMC will be singing Christmas favourites as well as a mix of songs by other contemporary artists, so why not Hail Holy Queen with 150 of London's most harmonious choric queens?

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Why? To sing your heart out over the Christmas period
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