A phrase we often use on tour when talking with promoters, fans and friends is “education is an extremely important part of what we do in The King’s Singers.” But what does that mean? At its widest level, it means that when people come to hear us in concert we like to give them a bit of what they know and like (often including close harmony pop arrangements!) but also to present music in styles and from composers about which they may know little or nothing. We always hope that our audiences go away having learned a bit more about music than what they previously knew – and (we hope) feeling inspired to listen to a wider range of styles. We must entertain, first and foremost, but we must also increase knowledge and cultural awareness. This current North American tour programme is a good example of this ideal: the second half gives the audience 45 minutes of pop, folk and spiritual arrangements, whereas the first includes some little-known part-songs and three challenging commissioned pieces by Steve Martland.
Written by Christopher Gabbitas, March 2011.
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