AFTER this Tuesday's sold-out A Cavalier Christmas concert at the York Early Music Christmas Festival, The Ebor Singers return to the National Centre for Early Music on Sunday at 7.30pm for their annual Christmas celebration of Benjamin Britten's festive stalwart A Ceremony of Carols.

Britten began work on his carol ceremony in 1942 after three very successful years in America. "On board a Swedish cargo vessel bound for Britain, dodging German U-boats, he set some medieval poems from a book he had come across while berthed in Nova Scotia," says Paul Gameson, the York choir's director.

"Few pieces capture the joy and expectation of Christmas quite as well as this piece, performed in a striking setting in 11 movements, scored for upper voices and harp."

Alongside Britten's sequence, The Ebor Singers will "ready you for Christmas" with a tasting tray of seasonal music, an aperitif of medieval carols, a main course of popular song arrangements, a dessert of exotic contemporary sacred pieces and a nightcap to warm you up for the run-in to Christmas.

Looking ahead, The Ebor Singers’ Christmas festivities continue into 2017 with a Wassail Dinner on January 13 at 7pm. "Wassailing was – and remains – a winter tradition centring on singing, sharing company and being merry, and we're looking forward to rounding off the Christmas season with an evening of food, drink and entertainment in the beautiful surroundings of the Merchant Taylors Hall," says Gameson.

As well as music, the choir members will be presenting their own take of the traditional Mummers Play with dragons, St George and Father Christmas all making an appearance.

Tickets for A Ceremony of Carols cost £15, concessions £12, students £5, on 01904 658338, at or or on the door. Tickets for the Wassail Dinner are £45, including a three-course meal and musical entertainment, and must be ordered by no later than January 5 at