Choir of King’s College

Cambridge choir comes to A2 on rare tour

Tomorrow at 8 p.m.

At Hill Auditorium


King Henry VI wanted – as most kings tend to – the best of the best. Daily church services were no exception. To this end, he founded the King’s College and its choir in Cambridge, England.

The choir, made up of 14 men and six boys, debuts at Hill Auditorium tomorrow at 8 p.m. with a program of ecclesiastical big hitters and contemporary composers heading more in the “mainstream” direction, as the choir’s director Stephen Cleobury says in the program notes. Francis Poulenc, J. S. Bach and Benjamin Britten have made some of the most used and highly regarded choral pieces in the liturgical tradition.

Singing in services is still the choir’s primary occupation, but they’ve gained international fame. The choir and Cleobury straddle traditional appeal and sensitivity to the progress of contemporary music composition. Their highly popular annual Christmas Eve service performance, broadcast by BBC radio every year since 1928, includes a newly commissioned work each year.

The boys in the choir are educated on scholarship in the King’s College, which teaches about 300 boys and girls. Men and boys’ choirs often display astounding discipline and professionalism and, by merit of the voices used, present a singular sound. Their ethereal music is exceptional for the voices of pre-adolescent boys. This visit by the Choir presents a rare chance to see a niche powerhouse that delivers transcendent music, no matter your liturgical persuasions.

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