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Liza Sacheli
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The King’s Singers Return to Middlebury November 3

October 20, 2017

Superlative Male A Cappella Ensemble to Delight Audiences with 50th Anniversary Program

Middlebury, VT—The King’s Singers, the world’s most renowned a cappella ensemble, returns to Middlebury on Friday, November 3 to celebrate their 50th anniversary season. Acclaimed for virtuosity, life-affirming energy, and charm, the King’s Singers will present a program surveying five decades of their repertoire, plus new works commissioned for this anniversary year. By popular demand, this concert represents an “encore” of their triumphant concert on the Middlebury Performing Arts Series in 2015.

The group describes this concert tour as “an adventure that gives thanks for all the music that’s defined our first 50 years, inspired by the unique maverick spirit that guided the original six King’s Singers to keep every performance as fresh and varied as possible. We still share their mission today: the future of music deserves to shine as brightly as it can.” Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll calls the storied ensemble “the gold standard for the many contemporary a cappella ensembles that have followed.”

The concert program will range from classic works by Palestrina, Tallis, and Byrd; arrangements of contemporary works by Paul Simon and U2; and what the group calls a “party bag” of audience favorites and brand-new surprises. One of the highlights will be the new anniversary commission “To Stand in This House” by Nico Mulhy.

 

About the King’s Singers

The group was founded on May 1, 1968, formed by six recently-graduated choral scholars from King’s College, Cambridge. Their vocal line-up was (by chance) two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass—and the group has never wavered from this formation since. The six current King’s Singers are countertenors Patrick Dunachie and Timothy Wayne-Wright, tenor Julian Gregory, baritones Christopher Bruerton and Christopher Gabbitas, and bass Jonathan Howard.

What really distinguished the group in its early years was its musical diversity. The King’s Singers were a weekly fixture on prime-time television, celebrating popular music never usually touched by choral ensembles. Their unique British charm, combined with their musical craft, captured audiences’ hearts the world over. The group has consistently been welcomed on the world’s great stages throughout its history, from London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Opera House in Sydney or New York’s Carnegie Hall, and its members have been hailed as ambassadors for musical excellence across the globe. Among their many accolades are two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

The group’s love of diversity has always fueled its commitment to creating new music. A panoply of commissioned works by many of the supreme composers of our times—including Sir John Tavener, Toru Takemitsu, John Rutter, Luciano Berio, Nico Muhly, György Ligeti, and Eric Whitacre—sits alongside countless bespoke arrangements in the group’s extensive repertoire. The group is determined to spread the joy of ensemble singing, and leads workshops and residential courses all over the world each season.

The world may have changed a lot in the 50 years since the original King’s Singers came together, but today’s group still radiates the joy singing brings every day, and wants to give life to audiences with their virtuosity and vision for an exciting musical future.

 

Performance Details

The King’s Singers will perform on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 8:00 P.M. at Mead Memorial Chapel, on the campus of Middlebury College. Mead Chapel is located at 75 Hepburn Road, just off Vermont Route 125 west. Free parking is available along Route 125, on Hillcrest Road, and on Old Chapel Road, with handicap-accessible parking available behind the Chapel on Hepburn Road.Tickets are $30 for adults; $25 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; and $6 for Middlebury College students, and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

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Image caption:

The King’s Singers perform November 3 at Middlebury’s Mead Chapel, photo Marco Borggreve

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
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cfa@middlebury.edu