Association Of British Choral Directors

Singing Shakespeare gears up for 2016

'Singing Shakespeare' is a two year project, supported by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, that focuses on choral settings of Shakespeare.

The launch concert took place in Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon in April 2014 and included the premiere of Gary Carpenter's 'The Food of Love' Book I (workshopped at last years ABCD convention in Cardiff) given by a group of choirs in Stratford, alongside a 'massed choir' performance of 'Serenade to Music', by Vaughan Williams, surely one of the greatest of all Shakespeare settings. This year 150 school children gave the premiere of another newly commissioned work, Toby Young's 'Three Shakespeare Songs' at the Stratford Civic Theatre and the National Youth Choir of Scotland (National Girls Choir) conducted by Christopher Bell gave the premiere of Carpenter's 'The Food of Love' Book II, which they subsequently recorded.

A new website has also been developed that includes articles, photographs, a diary of events and a large, ever expanding repertoire list. It is hoped that as time goes on choirs of all kinds will be encouraged to upload their performances and advertise their concerts.

Forthcoming premieres include the remaining books of songs by Gary Carpenter performed by Codetta (Northern Ireland) conducted by Donal Doherty and the Northampton Male Voice Choir conducted by Stephen Bell. There are developing plans for a 'Singing Shakespeare Choral Festival' to be held in Stratford-upon-Avon in May/June 2016, as well as concerts and festivals planned in the USA, Canada, China, Japan and many parts of Europe. There are plans for performances at Shakespeare related venues in Stratford and London throughout 2016.

Toby Young's 'Three Shakespeare Songs' are available to download for free from the 'Singing Shakespeare' website.

Posted: Wed 25th November 2015

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