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White Christmas

Israel Beilin (later to become Irving Berlin) was born in abject poverty in Russia and didn’t arrive in America until 1893 when he was five years old. By the time he died, at the age of 101, he had written thousands of beautiful, often witty, songs inspiring the much younger George Gershwin to describe him as ‘the greatest songwriter who ever lived’. He wrote White Christmas for the film Holiday Inn, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song; famously recorded by Bing Crosby, it became one of the most popular and best-selling songs of all time. Accredited Lecturer Pip Burley takes a closer look at the story behind White Christmas.


We've asked Lizzie Darbyshire, Chair of the North East Area Support Team and recently retired Accredited Lecturer to create a special Christmas Quiz. You can open the Quiz here. For the Answers click here

Given the lovely comments we've being receiving today, we thought we'd better add that Artvent isn't over yet!

We originally planned 24 items for Artvent but we found we had so much that we wished to share that we've extended it for another 7 days to 31st December.

So watch out for our emails over the coming week!


Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.  

The Arts Society Midhurst have recently given a grant to Easebourne Primary School, a primary school at the heart of the community, which will fund a whole school art installation project.

All donations from the Artvent Calendar will go towards The Arts Society’s grant giving fund, which awards grants to help preserve our artistic heritage, support the skills of artists and makers, and improve access to the arts for all.

Please click here to support projects like this one by making a Donation.



Wonderful. Thank you

S. Hakin Thu, 30/12/2021 - 20:54 Permalink

A thoroughly interesting history of this magical song which so encapsulates our hopes and fears for all the years...thank you

Helen Wed, 29/12/2021 - 02:50 Permalink

Just wonderful. Irving Berlin surely the greatest composer/lyricist of all time. Pip Burley narrates with such ease on a subject so dear to him.

Diana Wed, 29/12/2021 - 02:34 Permalink

A very interesting background to the song and man, particularly the sadness of losing his baby son on Christmas day some years earlier.

Mary-Ann Renton Tue, 28/12/2021 - 09:40 Permalink

Thank you - so informative and interesting.

Christine Callow Mon, 27/12/2021 - 17:24 Permalink

A most interesting talk about Irving Berlin. An excellent series of talks throughout December. Thank you.

Chris Freeman Sun, 26/12/2021 - 16:44 Permalink

So much fun each morning to enjoy a wee story with my coffee! Happy Christmas and thank you for a cheery advent calendar! Looking forward to more!

Felicity Sat, 25/12/2021 - 09:07 Permalink

Brilliant thank you

Jill Allan Sat, 25/12/2021 - 00:50 Permalink

Excellent presentation. Informative and entertaining , with wonderful delivery.
Happy Christmas!

daphne Fri, 24/12/2021 - 21:33 Permalink

A beautiful presentation -- and so poignant.

anahita Fri, 24/12/2021 - 20:18 Permalink