A Classic Christmas Playlist chosen by Clara Marshall Cawley

Clara Marshall Cawley, Associate Board Member for Buxton International Festival has chosen four festive pieces to welcome the season.

Assistant Orchestras and Ensembles Manager at the RNCM, Clara graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Music in 2018 then worked with the Chorus of Opera North and the Learning Department of the Liverpool Philharmonic.  While still a student she founded ‘Musica’, a week -long festival celebrating female music making which continues annually with increasing success. Clara sings with the Halle Choir and enjoys running, cycling and hill walking in her spare time.

Listen to each piece individually by clicking on the links below. Alternatively you can enjoy the full playlist here.

Christmas Oratorio, ‘Jauchzet, frolocket’ – J.S. Bach

I’ve loved this piece ever since I first sang it with London Youth Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra back in 2014. The trumpets, timpani and voices come together to form such a joyous depiction of Christmas.


Illuminare Jerusalem – Judith Weir 

Completely different to the Bach. I particularly love the spine tingling moment when the organ enters.

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen – Praetorius arr. Sandström

This setting of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen feels like the perfect soundworld to describe the foggy, cold and crisp mornings that you so often get at this time of year.

O Little Town of Bethlehem – R. Vaughan Williams

Congregational singing has been a big part of Christmas for me ever since I started singing in my local church choir, and later as a chorister at Southwark Cathedral. The tune, and particularly the descant, of O Little Town of Bethlehem make it one of my favourite carols to sing each year.

Watch: https://youtu.be/mIu_rHYlLNQ

Listen to the full playlist here.