ST. ANDREW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH BRINGS WORLD-RENOWNED BRITISH VOCAL ENSEMBLE VOCES8 TO PLANO AND SURROUNDING AREAS
FOR WEEK OF MUSIC EDUCATION OUTREACH AND PERFORMANCES
A strong supporter of the arts, St. Andrew is sponsoring a cappella octet for educational workshops at area schools, St. Andrew, and The Stewpot as well as free community performances at St. Andrew
A strong supporter of the arts and music education for all ages, St. Andrew United Methodist Church is sponsoring world-renowned British vocal ensemble Voces8 to be in residence at St. Andrew UMC, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, November 3-6, to conduct education outreach on behalf of the church. The ensemble will hold music education workshops with the choirs at four area middle and high schools in Carrollton, Plano, Wylie, and Rowlett, and also with the Dallas Street Choir at The Stewpot. The workshops, which have received praise from UNESCO, reach 20,000 people annually around the world, inspiring creativity and excellence through music. At the conclusion of the week, the public is invited to hear Voces8 during St. Andrew worship services: Sat., Nov. 5, 5:30 p.m. (Smith Worship Center) and Sun., Nov. 6, 9:30 and 10:50 a.m. (Sanctuary).During both Sunday All Saints Day Services, the octet will perform with the Chancel Choir and Fort Worth Symphony cellist Keira Fullerton, and on Sunday evening at 6 p.m., they will give a free concert for the public in the Sanctuary.
Formed in 2003 by former Westminster Abbey choristers, Voces8 consists of eight singers, six men and two women. The group tours extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia, performing a diverse repertoire ranging from early English and European Renaissance choral works to their own arrangements. Known for their engaging on-stage presence, VOCES8 has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Cité de la Musique Paris, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, the Shanghai Concert Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Voces8 regularly commissions and collaborates with world-renowned contemporary composers as well as the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and period ensemble Les Inventions.
Highlights of their 2016-17 season include European performances at the Mito Festival Italy, Thüringer Bachwochen Germany, the Paris Philharmonie and Brussels Bozar. They will tour the USA twice, with concerts and residencies. Voces8 is heard regularly on international television and radio. A Decca Classics Artist, Voces8 has two albums, 'Eventide' and 'Lux', which have been at the top of the classical charts.
“Music education is incredibly important to us as a church, and it's something that Voces8 does at an unmatched level,” said Taylor Davis, director of music, St. Andrew UMC. “Voces8’s residency at St. Andrew will be a unique opportunity for Plano and the surrounding communities, impacting students and worshipers alike.”
Two brothers and founding members of Voces8, Barnaby and Paul Smith, decided early on that education needed to be an important part of the group's mission.
"All of us were very lucky growing up to be part of great choirs and to have some fantastic teachers,” said Paul Smith. “We really see it as our responsibility to be trying to help the next generation in any way that we can. So now we have a very active education program that really runs very broadly. We work from the most junior children through to working with university students and young professionals.”
In the workshops, Voces8 warms up the choirs using the “Voces8 Method” – a blend of movements and vocalizing and improvisation that is designed to be highly engaging. Each member spreads out in the room, taking a group of singers with them, and they will sing, move and improvise in a both an autonomous and team-building manner. Each choir then sings for Voces8, and the octet works with them on their musicality and phrasing. Voces8 also sings for the groups and takes questions at the end.
“The Dallas Street Choir is thrilled to welcome VOCES8 to our rehearsal on Friday,” said Jonathan Palant, director of Dallas Street Choir. “This event is much more than a singular musical collaboration. Rather, it is an experience that will surely enlighten and engage singers in both choirs and is bound to create a memory that will last a lifetime.”
“It is an honor and privilege to have our students work with Voces 8 at St. Andrew UMC,” said Kathy Hackett, Plano West Senior High Choir Director. “To have these choirs connect with professionals who understand diversity in music at a higher level can only make our students better musicians. They are creative with integrity which is something we want our students to understand as choral students at Plano West.”
“St. Andrew is very excited to welcome VOCES8 to the area,” added Davis. “In an educational setting, they are incredibly adaptable and hands-on, and they bring a world class clinic wherever they go with collegiate groups and elementary students alike. We are one of three Texas stops on their U.S. tour, but the only one where an extended residency is taking place."
Here is a link to one of their workshops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCO1tvo4CS4