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Formed in 2005, VOCES8 has a diverse repertoire ranging from early English and European Renaissance choral works to their own arrangements.
The group is signed to the Decca Classics label. The first Decca album is 'Eventide' which released in February 2014. Prior to the recording contract with Decca, the ensemble recorded seven albums:"A Purcell Collection" (2013) "Christmas" (2012); Choral Tapestry (2011); The Bach Motets (2010); Aces High (2010); Evensong (2008); From Gibbons to Gershwin (2007). The most recent recordings are on the Signum label.
In recent seasons VOCES8 has performed at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cite de la Musique Paris, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Highlights of the 2014/2015 season include performances at Bozar Brussels, Lund Festival, Berliner Dom, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Canterbury Festival, 3 Choirs Festival, Moscow International House of Music, the ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, return visits to Tokyo Opera City, Wigmore Hall, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, La Folle Journée France, and a debut tour of Canada.
Artistic collaborations have included the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensemble Les Inventions, violinist Hugo Ticciati and cellist Matthew Sharp. The group is delighted to commission renowned contemporary composers including Ola Gjeilo, Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Eriks Esenvalds and Ben Parry, alongside Jim Clements as the ensemble’s Arranger in Residence.
With an ongoing programme of recordings and live broadcast, VOCES8 is heard regularly on international television and radio, including MPR, the BBC and Classic FM. VOCES8 is a Decca Classics Artist and will release its second album this season. The debut album, ‘Eventide’, went straight to the top of the Classical Charts on its release. The ensemble has also recorded a series of award-winning discs for Signum Classics, with ‘A Purcell Collection’ released most recently in April 2014 (BBC Music Magazine Critics Choice). In 2013, the ensemble was nominated for seven CARA Awards, winning in the categories for Best Classical Album and Best Classical Song. VOCES8 is an Ambassador for Edition Peters with whom it publishes arrangements and educational material, including the ‘VOCES8 Songbook’ and the ‘VOCES8 Method’.
- Emily Dickens (soprano)
- Andrea Haines (soprano)
- Chris Wardle (counter-tenor)
- Barnaby Smith (counter-tenor)
- Sam Dressel (tenor)
- Oliver Vincent (tenor)
- Paul Smith (baritone)
- Jonathan Pacey (bass)
As the flagship ensemble of the charitable music foundation Voces Cantabiles Music (VCM), VOCES8 has an enviable reputation for its education work. The ensemble leads an innovative series of music education workshops reaching 20,000 people annually around the world with the aim of inspiring creativity and excellence through music. The innovative education work of VCM has received praise from UNESCO and since 2005 has raised £1 million towards music education in the UK. In 2013 VCM established the Gresham Centre in partnership with the Diocese of London, a vocal Centre for Excellence at Sir Christopher Wren’s beautiful St Anne & St Agnes Church in the City of London. The group also works regularly with international partners in the USA, Europe and Asia.
Education partners in the UK include:
- Ardingly College
- Bradfield College
- Bedford School
- Grey Coat Hospital Foundation
- Rugby School
- Woodbridge School
- St Benedict's, Ealing
- The John Lyon School
- Hackney Learning Trust
- Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES)
- Surrey Arts
- Slough Music Service
- Concordia Foundation
- INECC Mission Voix Lorraine
VOCES8 has received support from Arts Council England, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
VOCES8 turned professional in 2007. The current line up of VOCES8 contains four of these original members. Past members include:
- Thomas Elwin
- Rachel Major
- Catherine Backhouse
- Robin Bailey
- Charles MacDougall
- Robert Smith
- Dingle Yandell (bass)