WESTERLY, RI – The Chorus of Westerly will kick off its 61st concert season on Saturday, November 2 as The King’s Singers, one of the most acclaimed a cappella vocal ensembles of all time, return to Westerly George Kent Performance Hall. Featured as part of the Chorus’s annual Kent Hall Masters Series, The King’s Singers will present a program titled GOLD. GOLD is a celebration of The King’s Singers’ 50 seasons of vocal music-making and will feature music from multiple eras ranging from the Renaissance to the Beatles. In their history, The King’s Singers have received hundreds of glowing reviews from the world’s greatest musical publications, multiple Grammy Awards, an Emmy, and a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.
The concert on November 2 at 7:30 pm, taking place in Kent Hall at 119 High Street in downtown Westerly, will mark The King’s Singers’ second Westerly performance. They last performed in Kent Hall to a sold-out audience in February 2013. Tickets to the performance are available now by calling 401.596.8663, online at chorusofwesterly.org, or in person at the Kent Hall Box Office.
The King’s Singers, who have performed thousands of concerts in over 50 countries around the globe, were founded in 1968. The initial six singers were choral scholars who had recently graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, where they sang and studied with Sir David Willcocks. Coincidentally, Willcocks was also an early mentor and teacher of Chorus of Westerly founder George Kent in the 1960s. Much of the Chorus’s performance offerings, education, and artistic structure have been directly influenced by Willcocks. Thus, the Chorus’s relationship to The King’s Singers could be considered that of extended musical cousins.
The initial ensemble of The King’s Singers had been singing together under a different name prior to their London debut on May 1, 1968 when they gave a concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. For that first concert, their vocal make-up was, by chance, two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones, and a bass. Over the next 50 years, and continuing to this day, the group has never wavered from this formation. The current members are Patrick Dunachie and Edward Button, countertenors, Julian Gregory, tenor, Christopher Bruerton and Nick Ashby, baritones, and Jonathan Howard, bass.
Traditional choral repertoire ran in the veins of the founders as the initial ensemble comprised former members of the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. However, what distinguished The King’s Singers in the early years was their musical versatility. They became weekly fixtures on prime-time television, celebrating popular music never usually touched by choral ensembles. Their unique British charm, combined with their precise musical craft, quickly crafted audiences’ hearts the world over. The group now regularly performs at venues from London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall to the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Last year marked the 50th birthday of the group, and though the world may have changed a lot in the fifty years since the original King’s Singers came together, today’s group still aims to radiate the joy that singing brings them every day. In their fifty-first year, The King’s Singers are as determined as ever to inspire audiences with virtuosity and their vision for an exciting musical future.
The Chorus of Westerly’s Kent Hall Masters Series is a series of concerts held each year whereas the Chorus hosts some of the best vocal and musical ensembles in the world. Recent concerts have included performances by Nordic Voices, The Swingles, Chanticleer, Stile Antico, Rockapella, Lorelei Ensemble, Cantus, and others. The King’s Singers headlined the series for the first time in 2013.
Tickets for this event are expected to sell out, but tickets do currently remain. Tickets can be purchased by calling 401.596.8663, online at chorusofwesterly.org, or at the George Kent Performance Hall Box Office, 119 High Street, Westerly, RI. The George Kent Performance Hall is an accessible facility and accessible seats are available but will also likely sell out. Patrons requiring assistance are encouraged to call the Chorus at the previously mentioned number to discuss availability.