First published in 1961, the Carols for Choirs series has for many singers become synonymous with the Christmas season, used in festive concerts and services across the world. While many things have changed since that first edition, one thing has remained constant: the illustrated angel on the cover. We did some investigating in the archives recently to uncover the history of the Carols for Choirs angel, looking at how it came about and how it has evolved over the past 60 years.
1961: Hardback edition
When it was first released, there was also an angel-less hardback bound version released, costing 12s 6d—the paperback edition was priced at 7s 6d. The hardback bound version was continued when Carols for Choirs 2 was released in 1970 but abandoned in subsequent new releases in favour of the more convenient paperback version.