The True Saint Nicolas

A Cantata for Children’s Choir, SATB Choir, & Piano

by Ruth Kenward and Martin Neill

CD cover

The True Saint Nicolas is a 20 minute cantata for mixed voices (SATB) and Children’s Choir. It was commissioned in 2016 by St Nicolas Church Pevensey to mark its 800th anniversary. 

The cantata presents a children’s quest to discover the true identity of Santa Claus. Adults lead the children through a series of tales about miraculous events attributed to Saint Nicolas—some of which seem less likely to be true than others. Ultimately, the children recognize a link between Santa Claus’ generosity and the character of the true Saint Nicolas.

The 20-minute six-part cantata, for children to sing with adults, has six songs. Here are some samples.

Tell Us The Story

Once Upon A Time In Patara

So Many Tales

Story of the Storm

Three Sisters

The True Saint Nicolas

Other information and score samples

The True Saint Nicolas - Director’s Overview & Lyrics
Sample 1 - Opening Number: Tell Us The Story an extract
Sample 2 - Once Upon A Time In Patara an extract
Sample 3 - The Story Of The Storm an extract
Sample 4 - Three Sisters an extract

[The Cantata opens] with the children asking the adults to tell them the story of the real ‘Santa Claus’. They are led on a journey through a series of miraculous events attributed to Saint Nicolas, some of them more fictitious-sounding than others! The character of the man himself is revealed through the stories told and, by the end, the children recognise the link between the generous nature of both Father Christmas and the true Saint Nicolas.
— Matthew Johns, Lark Reviews


Book cover

The True Saint Nicolas Book with notes, libretto, & score; CD with the songs and rehearsal piano accompaniment; and performance licenses are available from Starshine Music Ltd, Hankham, East Sussex, England. Used by permission.

Digital downloads are available on request - please email

back to top