Last night we launched The King’s Singers Christmas Songbook live on WQXR in New York City – I hope many of you will have had the chance to watch! Beginning a tour with an album launch is an enjoyable event, especially with the setup at WQXR which allows us to stream it live across the internet. It’s a great way to kick-start a tour, and we’ve hit the road running now as we head off around North America for the next three weeks, culminating in a concert at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.
This year’s programme focuses heavily on music from the new album, as you’d expect, but it also features several other gems from our library – not least John Joubert’s wonderful setting of the ancient text, “There is no rose.” This piece has special meaning for me, as I remember performing it as a boy chorister in Rochester Cathedral in Kent (founded in AD604) and thinking that the text had probably been spoken or sung in the very same building for over 1,300 years. That connection with history is something that we try not to wear lightly; the ability to take material from centuries ago and re-work it for a contemporary performance is almost unique to performers. The skill is then in weaving music into a programme in a way that makes it relevant when juxtaposed with contemporary offerings – and something the KS have always been good at is putting an Anonymous text right next to “Frosty the Snowman”!!!!
Christmas tours are always special; everybody WANTS to have a good time and be happy at this time of year, so you’re singing to an audience full of excitement and anticipation. We hope that we add some musical cheer to the build-up to Christmas, and after all there’s no time of year for which music is required more!
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