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Our current Victorian repertoire list includes the following carols. We reserve the right to make additions and subtractions, but rarely do so. Carols with an asterisk (*) after them indicate carols where we will sing one verse in the original language, and follow that with the English version. We do have a modern set of holiday songs available with a limited set of of our singers, upon specific request.
Some of these titles have clickable links to demo recordings.
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Angels We Have Heard On High
Away in a Manger
Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella (Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabella)*
Bring Us In Good Ales
Deck the Halls
Ding Dong Merrily on High
The First Noel
Gloucestershire Wassail (Wassail All Over the Town)s
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Good Christian Men Rejoice! (In dulce jubilo)*
Good King Wenceslass
Go, Tell It on the Mountain
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Here We Come A-Wassailings
The Holly and the Ivy
I Saw Three Ships
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
In the Bleak Midwinter
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Jolly Old Saint Nicholass
Joy to the World
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming (Es ist ein Ros entsprungen)*
O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)*
O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)*
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Veni, Veni, Emanuel)*
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Silent Night (Stille Nacht)*
Sing We Now Of Christmas (Noël Nouvelet)*
Sleep, Baby Jesus (New, but in the Victorian style, exclusively performed by The Village Carolers)
Up On the Housetops
We Three Kings of Orient Are
We Wish You a Merry Christmass
What Child Is This?
We charge a standard fee for the first hour which includes booking fee, travel, and up to one hour of singing with the carolers. We charge a lower rate for additional hours. Rates depend upon our availability and location.
Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day bookings are charged a premium rate in addition to the standard fee, and holiday dates book quite early. So, be sure to secure us early in the fall if you are interested in a holiday date performance.
Major credit cards, checks, and cash (or cash equivalent) are happily accepted. Tips and hot cider are welcomed for excellent performance, and quite possibly will get you hugs.
Travel Note: We have quartets based out of Medford, NJ and New York City. We are happy to travel anywhere in the mid-Atlantic region. Travel reimbursement will be required for distances more than 50 miles round trip from Medford or New York (whichever is closer to you).
There are many costs associated with presenting our carolers which must be covered. Besides paying our singers, the booking fee pays for:
- General Liability Insurance (a requirement at many venues)
- Special permissions from publishers to make custom arrangements of modern carols
- Music printing for all of our singers
- Purchasing and maintaining those beautiful Victorian costumes
- Managing singer schedules and availability
- Web site design and hosting
- Managing client communication and event logistics
- Paying ASCAP for permission to broadcast certain media on our web site
- Rehearsal space rental
- Months of preparation time putting it all together
We do not post an online calendar of our availability because we have more than one group in more than one location, and send singers out based on the event’s proximity to their area. Thus, we have no need to tell people “No” unless we have triple or even quadruple booked a given date.
Due to the demand for The Village Carolers between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we highly recommend you book as far in advance as possible. We start booking holiday dates as early as June each year. We receive a high volume of booking requests for Christmas Eve, so it is advised you book that as early as possible. If you contact us in mid-December for a Christmas Eve booking, it’s very likely we will already be booked.
For our Victorian style presentation, we perform in clothing reminiscent of the late 19th or early 20th Century. Carolers of the time were not typically wealthy. In fact, they were often caroling in order to make money, so the clothing the carolers wore was not lavish. We strive for an authentic period appearance and performance. For our full set which combines Victorian with modern, you can request either Victorian or modern black concert dress with holiday accessories.
Yes, but the first full hour fee would still apply. Our singers often travel a significant distance to come and sing for you, so we guarantee them a fee for a full hour no matter how long you actually have them sing. A performance for you requires for more than an hour in travel time, call time, changing into costume, singing, and travel after the performance.
We do perform on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, and limit the number of bookings each year based on the number of our singers who make themselves available for those specific days. Because this is a very special holiday date, we do charge a higher rate than normal. We get many requests for caroling on Christmas Eve and even Christmas Day, so be sure to make your request for booking as early as possible.
While we never require it, and it is certainly not expected, if you feel the performers did a job exceeding the expectations of you and your guests please feel free to offer them whatever you feel is appropriate. They are also happy to accept food and drink, but any alcoholic beverage should not be offered while they are working. We also ask you not to offer alcoholic beverages to any of our singers who may not be of legal age to consume such beverages. At this time, there are no artists on our roster under 21 years of age, but in the event that we do have them in the future, please respect the underage drinking laws in your area.
When a performance is more than one hour, then yes. If not, then we sing through the complete hour. For bookings longer than an hour, We typically perform for 45 minutes then take a 15 minute break. This allows us to be able to sing for your event and sound good the whole time, even if the event is several hours long.
The Village Carolers specializes in Victorian-era carols which have all fallen well within the public domain and do not require a license. If you ask us to perform a song or songs which are not in the public domain, it is important you understand what is required by copyright law.
If it is a non-public performance, such as in a private home, no license is required.
If it is for a company function of some kind, or any event held at a public place (a non-private location where people gather), a license is required. Look into an ASCAP business license through this online form. A blanket license for your business is not actually expensive and lasts all year long. It can be as little as $257 for 2017, and won’t go up much more for 2018. Here is some more info…
For government events (such as town tree lightings, etc.) you need a Local Government Music License (see https://www.ascap.com/-/media/files/pdf/licensing/classes/imla.pdf
The responsibility to obtain a license for copyrighted music to be performed publicly falls upon the event producer (you) and not the musicians (us). The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) makes this designation of responsibility:
Under the law, owners or operators of establishments are responsible for performances on their premises. In practice, the owners obtain licenses as a cost of doing business. For more than 70 years courts have consistently held that those who operate facilities or sponsor events at which copyrighted music is performed publicly may not avoid their responsibilities under the United States Copyright Law by attempting to shift those responsibilities to their entertainers.
Courts have held liable as an infringer the owner of a club who had insisted that his entertainers sign agreements stating that they would not perform ASCAP music and posted signs stating that no ASCAP music could be performed at the club. Similarly, the fact that the entertainers alone choose the music to be performed does not absolve the owner of the club or the promoter of a concert from liability – the “independent contractor” defense is no defense to a claim of copyright infringement.
For more information, please see ASCAP’s information on this subject: http://www.ascap.com/~/media/655449c494b748ba89edc4864655e1b6.pdf
We are sometimes asked the difference between a carol and a Christmas song. There is a wealth of information on the history of Christmas Carols on Wikipedia: Christmas Carol. Another excellent page has been put together which describes the history of Christmas Carols: http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/carols_history.shtml.
Yes, and this year we have added a whole new set of modern songs (ASCAP license required if public performance) in addition to a few old medieval carols.
As for our “Victorian” presentation repertoire, many corporate parties wish to keep the overtly Christian influence to a minimum in order to be sensitive to other cultures present. We can do smaller sets of our repertoire list which either are not specifically sacred or which can be easily altered to remove specific sacred words, and still maintain the Victorian-era feel and presentation.
Here is a list of the carols which are less sacred in nature, which we believe are appropriate for a corporate party.
- Bring Us In Good Ale
- Deck the Hall
- Gloucestershire Wassail (Wassail All Over the Town)
- Good King Wenceslas (modified)
- Here We Come A-Wassailing
- Jingle Bells
- Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
- O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum)*
- Up On the Housetop
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
If you are interested in having a more modern feel with modern songs, please see the FAQ pertaining to Modern Songs.
The Village Carolers has two types of groups we can send for presentations. One specializes in Victorian-era period-specific presentation, which presents carols which would have been available during that time (1905 and before). That is our default approach to any singing engagement. Presentations with a more rounded and modern set holiday songs will be available to those who meet the requirements for us to perform said songs legally at their location. Please be sure to understand the ASCAP rules for proper licensing of a presentation involving copyrighted music. More information on that can be found here.
The modern set now available includes the following songs, all arranged by co-founder Michael Chadwick unless otherwise noted with an asterisk (*).
- Carol of the Bells*
- Christmas Time Is Here
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- Frosty the Snowman
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- Here Comes Santa Claus
- A Holly Jolly Christmas
- (There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
- Marshmallow World
- O Holy Night
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town
- Silver Bells
- Sleep, Baby Jesus (Hymn-style but modern, composed in 2017)
- Sleigh Ride
- White Christmas
- Winter Wonderland
Requests for songs not on this list will regretfully have to be declined, as our singers only perform well-rehearsed pieces. If there are songs not on this list that you definitely want to hear in future seasons, please let us know and we’ll look into adding them next year.
Because we book singers when you sign your contract, we require a retainer to hold a particular booking date or dates. This retainer is applied fully to the overall fee. The full fee is due prior to the commencement of the first performance. We accept cash, check, and the four major credit cards. Payments by check should be made out to The Village Carolers, 6 Nantucket Court, Medford NJ 08055.
Chadwick Creative Arts, LLC oversees The Village Carolers and carries both Commercial Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance policies for any accidents which are the fault of members of The Village Carolers. General liability insurance to cover any performance in your venue must be supplied by you, the client.
We understand that sometimes performances have to be cancelled by our clients for various reasons including financial or weather issues. However, because we book our singers and they reserve a date for which they cannot get another performing job in most cases, the following policy is in place. If a performance is cancelled by the client more than sixty (60) days prior to the performance date, the deposit is forfeited, but no other fee is due. If a performance is cancelled by the client less than sixty (60) days prior to the performance date, the full fee will still be due. If for any reason the performance is cancelled by The Village Carolers (which has never happened), the deposit and any other payments made by the Client would be returned in full.