If you haven’t come across THE SIXTEEN before we can guarantee that once seen, never forgotten. It was their Founder and Conductor Harry Christophers’ experience as cathedral chorister and scholar that led to his choral dream.
They launched in 1979, built on the best of the British choral tradition while setting new standards of virtuosity and musicianship. The Sixteen’s professional female and male voices create a distinctive sound of great warmth and clarity. Although refined over four decades, that sound has remained remarkably consistent, always responsive to the emotional content of words and music, ever alert to subtle nuances of colour and shading.
THE SIXTEEN celebrate 20 years of their Choral Pilgrimage tour with motets from 16th Century Rome, bound by Victoria’s powerful Responsories for Holy Saturday, and culminating in Allegri’s eternal Miserere.
Since 2000 the choir have travelled the length and breadth of the UK, discovering some of the country’s most beautiful architecture and building relationships with wonderful communities, many of which they return to year after year.
This year’s tour focuses on Rome, a city which has inspired countless pilgrimages, and where each of the four composers in this year’s programme created some of their finest work.
Plainsong: De Lamentatione
Victoria: Tenebrae Responsories for Holy Saturday 1- 6
Josquin: Pater noster / Ave Maria
F. Anerio: Litaniae Beatissimae Virginis Mariae
Josquin: Gaude virgo Mater Christi
Allegri: ‘Gloria’ from Missa In lectulo meo
Josquin: Illibata Dei Virgo nutrix
Allegri: Miserere (evolution version)
F. Anerio: Regina caeli laetare a8
Victoria: Salve Regina a8
This is well worth watching. Harry talks about the Pilgrimage and how he was inspired to set out on this journey.
They are also very involved with workshops and education, particularly with schools and young people. GENESIS SIXTEEN is their free young artists’ scheme for 18-23 year olds, which aims to nurture the next generation of talented ensemble singers.
During the course of a year, a series of week-long and weekend courses based in the UK are led by key figures from The Sixteen, including founder and conductor Harry Christophers and associate conductor Eamonn Dougan.
Participants receive group tuition, individual mentoring and masterclasses run by some of the industry’s top vocal experts. Thanks to a close partnership with the Genesis Foundation participants not only receive free tuition but also a bursary to cover all additional costs.
This is the UK’s first ever fully funded programme of its kind and alumni from the first seven years have already had much success since graduating. Many are now performing, recording and touring with professional groups, including The Sixteen. A number of them have set up their own choirs and are showing true entrepreneurialism in developing their brand and reputation on the music circuit.
Applications for the 2020-21 scholar will open in April/May 2020. To find out more, go here. GENESIS
As for the concert. THE SIXTEEN: The Choral Pilgrimage gets to Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff on Thursday 4th June. Tickets are between £15 and £25. For more details and to get yours, go here. CHORAL