Joy To The World

Christmas at the Sydney Town Hall, presented annually by the City of Sydney, originated in 1978 when Robert Ampt was appointed the fourth Sydney City Organist. Since then the structure and content of this event has evolved into one of Sydney’s major Christmas celebrations.

Christmas at the Sydney Town Hall brings together a massed choir, children’s choir, vocal and instrumental soloists, brass and percussion players, and the legendary William Hill and Son pipe organ played by Robert Ampt, who also conceives and plans each year’s event. Throughout the evening, poems and short narratives alternate with music; all enhanced by pageantry, special lighting and the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Sydney Town Hall itself.

But the music, much of it propelled and energised by the great organ, is the main reason the hall is packed year after year. The capacity audience sings its collective heart out during the thrilling carol arrangements, and ponders and reflects during the colourful and often moving choral and solo works. Much of this music has been composed or arranged by Robert Ampt. This CD offers, for the first time, a selection of Ampt’s Christmas music, most of which received its first performance in the Sydney Town Hall.


Robert Ampt

Robert Ampt is the Sydney City Organist and Organist/Choirmaster of Sydney's German Lutheran Church. An active recitalist and teacher, he composes and arranges music for the organ, has written two children's introductions to the organ, and has written an extensive history of the Sydney Town Hall organ.

Amy Johansen

Amy Johansen is the Sydney University Organist and an Honorary Carillonist at the University. Although her repertoire encompasses all periods of music, it was her first CD, The Embrace of Fire, devoted to the organ music of Naji Hakim, which initially brought her international acclaim.

Christopher Wrench

Christopher Wrench is currently lecturer in Organ at the Queensland Conservatorium. He has been a prize-winner at several international organ competitions, performs around Australia and appears regularly overseas as a recitalist, having performed in Austria, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy and Sweden. He seeks to combine his work as performer and teacher with his passion for liturgical music.

The Brisbane Chorale

The Brisbane Chorale is a symphonic choir of over 100 voices with a reputation for excellence in choral performance. Its repertoire is broad and extensive; in recent years this has included the great oratorios – Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and St Paul and Handel’s Messiah – and compelling performances of 20th century works: Orff’s Catulli Carmina and Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony (celebrating the Queensland Conservatorium’s 50th anniversary), and Carmina Burana and Kancheli’s Styx with The Queensland Orchestra.

Emily Cox

Emily Cox has earned a reputation as one of the leading figures in the Australian choral music scene. Music Director of both Canticum Chamber Choir and Brisbane Chorale, she is Lecturer in choral studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University where she teaches conducting and directs the Conservatorium Singers

Canticum Chamber Choir

Canticum Chamber Choir is an independent semi-professional choir based in Brisbane. It was formed in 1995 with Emily Cox as its founding Music Director. The ensemble’s members are skilled amateur musicians, some of whom have had formal musical training and others who are professionals in other fields.

Press quotes

“This CD is something of a revelation. Recorded in the magnificent acoustics of St John's Cathedral, with a superb organ, the arrangements by Robert Ampt are truly wonderful and a joy to listen to. … there are many moments of excitement, exquisite beauty and sheer joy.”

— Graham Cole, Sydney Organ Journal

“Perhaps the most striking characteristic of each choir is the clarity of the diction: you can hear every word. … Anyone looking for interesting, imaginative and well-crafted new arrangements and harmonizations as a change from the usual 'Carols for Choirs' versions, need look no further.”

— Indra Hughes, ORGANZ

Track Listing

  1. Joy to the World
  2. Once in Royal David's City
  3. Infant Holy, Infant Lowly
  4. God Rest You Merry, Gentleman
  5. All Poor Men and Humble
  6. Sing with Joy, O Earth and Sky
  7. Beside Thy Manger Here I Sky
  8. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  9. Mary the Virgin
  10. Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace
  11. Manyfold Amen
  12. A Babe is Born in Bethlehem
  13. Coventry Carol
  14. Angels fromt he Realms of Glory
  15. Silent Night
  16. Christmas Night
  17. While Shepherds watched Their Flocks by Night
  18. Kookaburra Sits in the Christmas Tree
  19. Christmas Day

Where to buy

Joy To The World is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Apple Music.

Joy To The World is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

List price
$15.00 AUD
Release date
December 2012
© 2012 Move Records
℗ 2012 Move Records
Catalogue number
MD 3359
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574335927