Carol Trilogy for women’s choir and piano

Program Notes:

Canadian composer Laura Hawley’s 2017 trilogy features three contrasting carols from Europe. “Noël Bourguignon” (“Burgundian carol”) describes the reverence of the animals kneeling at the manger on Christmas eve. “In dulci jubilo”, known to English-speaking audiences as “Good Christian Men, Rejoice”, is sung here in its original German. The arrangement paints a dazzling scene of many angels all singing together. “Wexford Carol” from England/Ireland is pensive and tender. The ending brings the Carol Trilogy to a close with thoughts ahead to the fulfillment of Christ’s coming to earth that Christmas night, which was indeed to “end all strife.”

Conductor Notes:

Carol Trilogy is a substantial and challenging new suite for advanced high school and women’s choirs. An accomplished pianist is needed, especially for In dulci jubilo. Drawing on carols from France, Germany and England/Ireland, it satisfied the need in Elektra’s Christmas programming for something that is both familiar to the audience (movements 2 and 3) and a new musical challenge for the singers. Especially commendable is the wide variety of tempi and moods across the 13 minutes of performance time.

The movements can be purchased and performed separately.

Each movement has its own entry on this website, where detailed descriptions and program notes suitable for a concert program can be found, as well as Texts and Translations, and my notes about rehearsal and musical challenges.

Carol Trilogy was commissioned by Elektra Women’s Choir with assistance from the Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund for Elektra Women’s Choir.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.



SSAA (div) and piano

1. Noël Bourguignon (5:00)
2. In dulci jubilo (3:10)
3. Wexford Carol (4:45)