Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

Included in the North Valley Chorale's Behold! Christmas program this year [2017] is a carol by Lindsay Lafford based on the Traditional English Carol “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day.”

Lafford was born in Gloucester, England, in 1912, and at the age of nine, began his career as a professional musician as a chorister at Hereford Cathedral.  Moving up through the ranks to Head Chorister, he became an organ scholar and assistant before leaving England to spend four years in Hong Kong as Organist at St. John's Cathedral from 1935-39. There he met a young woman, Anna Pohl, from Germany. They married, and came to America to raise a family, and for each to pursue academic careers, following his service as a musician and Chaplain’s Assistant in the US Navy during WW II.

After about 30 years on the faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, Lindsay retired with Anne to Coral Gables, Florida, where, as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, Lindsay’s creativity flourished, and continued right up until his death in Tempe, Arizona at the age of 101 in 2014. (Anne died in 1988, and Lindsay moved to Arizona in 1994 to be nearer family.)

Lindsay and Anne’s younger son, Peter, and his wife, Barbara, joined the North Valley Chorale last January [2017]. Peter offered some of his father’s Christmas music for the Chorale to sing, including “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” written in 1983 for choir with organ accompaniment. Pleased to have “Tomorrow...” selected, Peter was then inspired to write an arrangement of the piece for the Chamber Orchestra that the North Valley Chorale will have at the performance, to accompany “The Messiah.” So now the Chorale will sing “Tomorrow...” with the Chamber Orchestra playing Peter’s accompaniment. Peter says, “It is very special to me to have this posthumous father-son collaboration. I believe I have interpreted his organ arrangement in a style he would appreciate. I like to imagine him playing the bassoon (his non-keyboard instrument earlier in his career), featured in the arrangement. To honor his love of the bassoon, Barbara and I sponsored that instrument in the ‘Behold!’ orchestra.”

Here is a preview from the Finale music program :

Tomorrow...Dancing Day (L. Lafford)

Acknowledgement in the Behold! program: