A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Sun Dec 12, 11:00 - Sun Dec 12, 12:00
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church


The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a famous order of service that tells the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus through nine short Bible readings interspersed with the singing of Christmas hymns and carols. Each December, VOX Cape Town presents its own local adaptation of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, continuing the tradition led for many years by the St George’s Singers.

This year, the voices of VOX Cape Town will be joined by early music ensemble Here be Dragons to bring a refreshing folk flair to this well-known service. The musical items, many of which have been especially arranged by Jan-Hendrik Harley for this collaboration, will include The Carol of the BellsI Wonder As I WanderPuer Natus in BethlehemGabriel’s Message and In Dulci Jubilo and will have received their first performances at the previous night's immersive concert experience, Follow That Star: A Traveller's Companion to Christmas (see https://qkt.io/N7kmtP).

Although entrance to this service is free of charge, bookings are required in order to ensure that the venue adheres to lockdown capacity restrictions. Any remaining seats will be allocated to walk-ins on a first come, first served basis. 

In addition to this live performance, Fine Music Radio will also broadcast a recording of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 6 pm on Christmas Eve, once again bringing this unique musical celebration to a much wider audience. Fine Music Radio broadcasts on 101.3 FM in Cape Town, 107.9 FM in Fish Hoek and Noordhoek, 94.7 FM in Hout Bay and Llandudno, 97.1 FM on the Atlantic Seaboard, DStv Audio Channel 838 and worldwide on www.fmr.co.za.

For the past year-and-a-half, we have been reluctant to host regular rehearsals or present live performances to avoid putting our singers or you, our supporters, at unnecessary risk. However, with the ongoing vaccine rollout and concomitant easing of lockdown restrictions, we are holding thumbs that this will be amongst the first of many opportunities to share our music with you – safely and responsibly and together in the same space. ALL performers on stage will have been vaccinated – or, as we like to say, “VOXinated” – and so we encourage you to join us in having a "fully VOXed" venue.

For further enquiries, kindly email Kyle at [email protected]

For more information, visit https://voxcapetown.com/performances-nine-lessons-carols/

Update 08/12/2021: Thank you for your overwhelming response to the announcement of our first live performances since March 2020! We have been hard at work preparing two folk-inspired musical experiences to celebrate the festive season and look forward to welcoming you to these immersive events this weekend. We are concerned and aware of the rise in Covid-19 cases around the country and are keeping a close eye on developments. Over the last two years, we have consistently prioritised the safety of our musical community and, by adopting a pro-vaccination (or "VOXination") stance, we aim to lead by example.

The organising team has decided that, in order to make these events as safe as possible for you as well as for our performers (all of whom are vaccinated), we will insist that proof of vaccination against Covid-19 is presented at the door in order for you to be admitted to the venue. This requirement will be in addition to the usual safety measures already in place (physical distancing, mask-wearing at all times, provision of hand sanitiser). We also ask that you refrain from attending the event if you are feeling unwell or exhibiting any symptoms of illness.

We kindly request that you bring your proof of vaccination in the form of a card or digital certificate, accompanied by some form of identification (ID or driver's licence), to St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at least 30 minutes before the start of the event, i.e. no later than 10:30 am. 


We have elected to put this vaccination requirement in place rather than cancelling the events completely, and we sincerely regret any frustration or disagreement this decision will cause. If you would prefer to request a refund or cancel your ticket, these options are available on the Quicket platform. We hope that, with your support and by working together, we can host two spectacular live musical events this weekend that are both successful and safe. Please reach out to us via [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.

Update 28/11/2021: By now you will be aware of the recent news concerning a new coronavirus variant (designated "omicron") that has caused global anxiety and interrupted many travel plans and arrangements for the festive season. When we first announced our return to the stage this December, we were aware that we needed to be flexible by adapting our plans according to the latest local and global developments. Our top priority is, and has always been, the safety of our musical and larger communities, and to lead by example. Consequently, we are following the situation very closely and are considering our options along with our musical colleagues Here be Dragons, St Andrew's Presbyterian Church and other partners.

We hope that we will still be able to hold our performances on 11 and 12 December 2021 as originally planned. We will be in touch with all those who have already booked tickets once announcements have been made by the national government and we have a clearer view of the way forward. In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any specific concerns by contacting Kyle (who is also a medical doctor) at [email protected], and to continue practising scrupulous personal hygiene and physical distancing. We implore you to take advantage of the national coronavirus vaccine rollout if you have not already done so. We are all in this together!

Here be Dragons: Lente Louw (vocals), Josh Frank (recorders/guitar), Annien Shaw (baroque violin), Emile de Roubaix (nyckelharpa/baroque viola), Uwe Grosser (chitarone/baroque guitar), Mariechen Meyer (double bass), Jan-Hendrik Harley (baroque violin/baroque guitar/mandolins/direction)

VOX Cape Town: Suzanne Buchanan, Jan Buys, Wilhelm Delport, Margot Dower, Casey Driver, Nonni Driver, Shaun February, Tessa Gawith, Karen Hahne, Simon Hartley, Aaron Juritz, James Lister, Jen Matlock, Sarah McArthur, Maryanne McLachlan, Kyle Paulssen, John Rennie, Owen Rogers, Fi Smit, Bernice Toweel, Stefan van der Westhuizen, Jenni van Doesburgh, Anthea van Wieringen, John Woodland (direction)

Additional information

Refund policy No refunds


A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Somerset Rd, De Waterkant, Cape Town
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