Voces8

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VOCES8 performing in 2017

VOCES8 is an a cappella octet from the United Kingdom.

History[edit]

Formed in 2005, VOCES8 has a diverse repertoire ranging from early English and European Renaissance choral works to their own arrangements. They came up with the name en route to a competition.[1] Paul Smith (one of the founding members) said, "We needed a name to go on stage and there were eight of us and we were in Italy. We wanted something that feels like voices but had that Latin vibe to it, so we went with voces."[1]

VOCES8 tours the world. In 2017 the octet sang in the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Japan, and in Germany and other European countries.[1] In recent seasons VOCES8 has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall in Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Highlights of the 2014-15 season included 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. The VOCES8 2019-20 tour will again include concert venues in the U.S.A., including one at First United Methodist Church of Lubbock, TX, which has a rich tradition of hosting soloists, instrumentalists and concert performances from all over the world during more than 25 years of its Vesper Concert Series.

Artistic collaborations have included the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensemble Les Inventions, violinist Hugo Ticciati and cellist Matthew Sharp. In the 2015-16 season, the group's composer-in-residence was Ola Gjeilo, alongside Jim Clements as principal music arranger. Previous commissions were from Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry and Thomas Hewitt Jones.[2]

VOCES8 members:

  • Andrea Haines (Soprano 1)
  • Eleonore Cockerham (Soprano 2)
  • Katie Jeffries-Harris (Alto)
  • Barnaby Smith (Counter-tenor)
  • Blake Morgan (Tenor 1)
  • Euan Williamson (Tenor 2)
  • Christopher Moore (Baritone)
  • Jonathan Pacey (Bass)

Recordings[edit]

The group is signed to the Decca Classics label. The first Decca album is 'Eventide' which was released in February 2014.[3] 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 the beginning (?)
  • A Cappella Songbook (?)
  • Aces High (2010)
  • Bach’s Motets (2010)
  • Brahms, Bruckner, Reger (2011)
  • Christmas (2012)
  • A Choral Tapestry (2012)
  • Night Scapes - Choral Music For Reflective Moments (2014)
  • Eventide (2014)
  • LUX (2015)
  • Winter (2016)
  • Equinox (2018)
  • A Cappella Songbook 2 (2018)
  • Enchanted Isle (2019)

Compilations

  • Part of Voces Cantabiles Music (?)

Collaborations

  • A Purcell Collection (2014) - by Voces8, Les Inventions
  • Psalms (2015) - by Benedetto Marcello, Voces8, Les Inventions
  • Ola Gjeilo (2018) - by Ola Gjeilo, Voces8

Education work[edit]

One of the band's original members Paul Smith gives educational outreach programmes to approximately 40,000 students per year.[1] He wrote a book called "The VOCES8 Method" which is used by approximately 3500 schools.[1] Education partners in the UK include:

VOCES8 has received support from Arts Council England, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Past members[edit]

VOCES8 turned professional in 2007. The current line up of VOCES8 contains one of these original members. Past members include:

  • Catherine Backhouse, soprano
  • Robin Bailey, tenor
  • Emily Dickens, soprano
  • Thomas Elwin, tenor
  • Charles MacDougall, tenor
  • Rachel Major, soprano
  • Paul Smith, baritone
  • Robert Smith, tenor
  • Oliver Vincent, tenor
  • Dingle Yandell, bass
  • Chris Wardle, counter-tenor
  • Rob Clark, baritone
  • Sam Dressel, tenor

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Voces8 to perform in Chilton on Friday". Tri County News. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ http://www.voces8.com/about, accessed March 27, 2016
  3. ^ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eventide-Voces8/dp/B00GSDF8OG/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1385048485&sr=1-3&keywords=eventide

External links[edit]