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May 12, 2005

BBC series on a cappella

BBC Radio 2's popular "Sold On Song" program is broadcasting a six part series on a cappella called "Living In Harmony". Written and presented by Russell Davies the series began this Tuesday. Each program can be heard for up to seven days after the air date in streaming audio on the BBC's web site (link below).

BBC Radio 2

Over the next six weeks as we travel on this twenty-first-century musical version of the Grand Tour, we will meet every kind of vocal group: boy and girl bands; highly-skilled close-harmony outfits; jazz groups; barbershop groups; gospel choirs; church choirs; Welsh male voice choirs; doo-wop groups; session singers and backing vocalists.

Along the way we will meet a variety of famous groups including Manhattan Transfer, Take Six, New York Voices, The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Los, The Bobs, The Big Apple Chorus, The Los Angeles Master Chorale and The Swingle Singers (to name but some), all of whom welcome us and enthuse about their all-consuming favourite pastime. And we don't just observe these groups, we train with them, participate in their music-making, and learn a little about the mystery of singing from each one.

From sacred and commercial, amateurs and professional and from the simplest rural chants to the most sophisticated pieces of art music, every form of vocal collaboration can help us find our voices. This all-encompassing format will also allow us to delve into the history of vocal groups, and to meet modern-day practitioners of ancient forms of ensemble singing. In this journey of discovery, well get the music lesson of a lifetime, a masterclass in the crafts of breathing, phrasing and blending - and the equally demanding art of living and working together.

Read the web page and listen to the series here.

Posted by acapnews at May 12, 2005 12:02 AM