Gustav Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter was written at the request of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the editor of the English Hymnal. Holst used Christina Rossetti’s popular poem, written in 1872, for the text. The carol was first published in the English Hymnal in 1906 and quickly became a favorite among congregations. The frigid northern landscape that Rossetti paints with her text combined with the divinely melancholy nature of Holst’s melody provides the perfect backdrop for the winter holidays. The first and last sections of this arrangement incorporate the same melody and major key as the original, but the middle section, while in a minor mode, juxtaposes Holst’s melody with one of the most beloved chant melodies from the Gregorian chant repertoire, Ave Maria. The original chant, shown below, can be sung in conjunction with the piece. This unique arrangement will be exciting for any women’s chorus to sing. The flute and violin parts can be played by any two C-instruments.