It was in Yorkshire that Patric Standford was born. After completing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music with Edmund Rubbra, he worked for a time for a London publisher and as an arranger for theatres and television. He joined the staff of the Guildhall and devoted more time to larger scale compositions, several, such as the third symphony and his masque, The Prayer of St Francis, winning international prizes in Switzerland and Hungary respectively. His Christmas Carol Symphony grew out of a pot-pourri of seasonal tunes played to entertain his children in the framework of an eighteenth century symphony. It was first given on Christmas Eve 1979 by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Ashley Lawrence in a Radio 3 broadcast. The composer is grateful to Sir Ernest Hall, whose interest in the work has resulted in his contributing substantially to its recording.