Sing, O Glorious Host

The King’s College Choir sings “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” The song and melody are similar to the one originally composed in 1739 by Charles Wesley (yes, the same Wesley family. John was his brother), but there were modifications done over the past 200 years. For example, the melody is from a Mendelssohn cantata written in 1840 to celebrate Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. Charles Wesley was prolific: he published words to more than 6,000 hymns.

This choir is far older than the hymn; it was established in 1441 by King Henry VI when he founded King’s College in Cambridge. He wanted daily singing in his chapel. That’s still the choir’s principal job.