September 30, 2015
A celestial lunar season opener
San Francisco Chronicle:
The transformative powers of the moon were on full display at Mission Santa Clara on Saturday night, when the men’s chorus Chanticleer opened its season with an ingeniously programmed and beautifully sung evening of music old and new. From the pull of the tides and the intoxicating force of moonstruck love to the magic of the full moon, this was a program full of mystery and enchantment.
Yet the most remarkable sorcery on offer was in the group’s singing itself, which sounded more polished and finely blended than I’ve heard it in years. The sonorities of the 12-man ensemble reconfigure themselves subtly season by season, as new members join up and old members move on. Like the sea itself, these shifts produce a vocal landscape that is at once unbreaking and ever variable.
The current lineup, though, has clearly reached some new pitch of excellence. Maybe it’s the arrival of William Fred Scott, who recently joined Chanticleer as music director. Maybe it’s the inevitable outcome of changes in the particular vocal qualities of the membership.
Whatever the cause, Saturday’s concert was nothing short of thrilling, from an opening set that interspersed music by Monteverdi with those of English composers, to a final run of pop songs and spirituals. The choral textures were impeccably focused and clear, with a strain of translucency that seemed to speak directly to the evening’s lunar theme.
September 22, 2015
Gareth Malone's Naked Choir to keep clothes on
Gareth Malone, the presenter of the BAFTA-award-winning TV series The Choir, is launching a new show on the BBC called The Naked Choir which will feature a cappella groups only. Here is an interview with him about the new show.
September 19, 2015
Home Free releases new CD
Fans of a cappella group Home Free will be happy that one of their most popular performance songs, a cover of The Eagles’ “Seven Bridges Road,” has finally made it onto an album. The group's third album, entitled Country Evolution, is out Friday, Sept. 18, and the song is featured on the record.
“It’s one of the most requested songs we’ve had for about eight years,” member Rob Lundquist tells Billboard. “We had sent out a poll to our Facebook followers, and that was the second most-requested song behind ‘Elvira,’ which is also on the album. It’s one of our favorite tunes, and we filmed the video all over Minneapolis at different locations. It was a blast to film.”
September 17, 2015
Sir David Willcocks, choirmaster - obituary
Sir David Willcocks, who has died aged 95, was the most influential choirmaster of his generation, spending 17 years as director of music at King’s College, Cambridge, and 38 years in charge of the Bach Choir. He was a man of immense courage in both musical and military fields, earning an immediate MC during his war service in Normandy.
Throughout his long career Willcocks was at the centre of British choral music, moulding voices and raising standards. He injected it with a sense of purpose and redefined its sound while building up a strong base of support through his connections with choral societies across the country. Every note he conducted had to be articulated with precision and every phrase expressed with clarity; the result was an intense beauty of sound. Everything was meticulously rehearsed, including a choir’s entrance and exit from the stage.
For many listeners the pure, vibrato-free sound of the choirboy’s voice cannot be bettered: it is smooth, perfectly in tune, and unconcerned with the cares of the adult world. Nowhere is this more exemplified than in the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s, with which Willcocks was indelibly connected thanks to his descants to carols such as O Come, All Ye Faithful and Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. The service is broadcast throughout the world annually on Christmas Eve.
September 14, 2015
Want to be in Pitch Perfect 3? Here's how
In a stunt to promote Pitch Perfect 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray, the movie is launching a Dubsmash contest called "Pitch Smash".
Participants must compete via Dubsmash where they’ll find a “Pitch Perfect 2” gallery. They then go to their favorite soundbite and submit 10-second videos of their best “Pitch Perfect 2” spoken line or song and upload the videos to Vine, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #PitchSmash.
Pitch Perfect 3 is scheduled for summer 2017 but submissions are due September 17. The winner, announced on Good Morning America on September 22, will get a walk-on role in the movie.
September 10, 2015
Shenanigans at Yale's a cappella scene
It appears they take their a cappella rivalries seriously at Yale as there has been a big brouhaha there this past few days. A cappella group Society of Orpheus and Bacchus (SOBS) have been banned from the Rush process by the Dean's Office and will not be allowed to recruit members for a year after some dimwit decided it would be funny to leave a severed deer head at the Spizzwinks auditions. With a touch of the Godfather movies it seems there is bad blood between the groups and this was in retaliation for a previous prank. Read about it at the Yale Daily News.
September 4, 2015
Can’t Sleep Love – Pentatonix
Here's the new single "Can't Sleep Love" from the upcoming Pentatonix album release. Well they have certainly embraced the show business as I remember them way back when they were kinda dorky looking and not particularly hip. They are the hep cats now and certainly looking (and of course sounding) great.
September 1, 2015
Pentatonix to release new studio album on RCA
Pentatonix have left their Sony label Madison Gate and are now signed with RCA Records and will release a new studio album on the label on October 16th. The self-titled album features original songs with the first single, “Can’t Sleep Love” being released September 4th. The group's last album "That’s Christmas To Me" sold more than 1.2 million copies in the U. S., making the group one of only four acts to reach platinum status in 2014.