The renowned English a cappella ensemble, The King’s Singers, return to Greencastle this month to present its first North American Summer School (June 13–19, 2017), and DePauw University School of Music has the good fortune of serving as host for the inaugural workshop, which includes several events also open to the public. The first, a ticketed concert performed by the double Grammy Award-winning group, will be given in the Green Center’s Kresge Auditorium on Friday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. 

At the mid-point of the weeklong North American school, the famous sextet invites the community to join them for an intimate evening of music that gets up close and personal, journeying through over 500 years of music from across their repertoire and around the world. The concert will also celebrate the work of British choral legend Bob Chilcott, a former tenor in The King’s Singers and a special guest throughout the Summer School at DePauw. 

During the course of the concert, the ensemble will be joined on stage by all of the summer participants for a performance of Chilcott’s work A Thanksgiving, followed by a unique Q&A session with the composer and musicians directly after the concert. 

Among the week’s public offerings will be a second concert showcasing the 68 international participants — including a guest set by The King’s Singers, themselves — that will be given at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 18 in Meharry Hall, located on the second floor of the University’s historic East College. 

In addition, there will be a free composition presentation by Chilcott from 7–9 p.m. on Thursday, June 15 in Thompson Recital Hall. Described by The Observer as “a contemporary hero of British choral music,” the composer will offer a presentation and Q&A about the challenges of setting text, composing for the voice and for choirs of all ages. Take this opportunity to ask one of the most widely performed choral composers in the world about how to find compositional inspiration, the discipline of writing or about detailed musical matters of all kinds, enjoying Chilcott’s warmth and humor along the way.

Acclaimed for their virtuosity and irresistible British charm, The King’s Singers have become synonymous with the best in vocal a cappella performance. Since the group’s founding in 1968, it has premiered more than 200 new works, including landmark compositions by György Ligeti, James MacMillan, Toru Takemitsu, John Tavener and Eric Whitacre, among many others, and has commissioned arrangements of everything from jazz standards to pop chart hits. 

The award-winning artists were honored in 2009 for their Signum Classics release, Simple Gifts, and again in 2012 for their contribution to Whitacre’s Light & Gold album on the Decca label. In 2013, they were chosen as one of only two vocal ensembles to enter the Gramophone Hall of Fame, in recognition of their unique discography of over 150 albums. 

The Singers perform more than 120 concerts each year, regularly touring Europe, the U.S., Asia and Australasia. Highlights of the group’s recent performance schedule include concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Washington National Cathedral, Grand Philharmonic Hall of St. Petersburg, along with invitations to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the group’s residential Summer School in the UK. The ensemble (pictured here in Kresge Auditorium) last sang at DePauw University in 2015. 

Tickets to “The King’s Singers in Concert” are currently available through the Green Center’s new Eventbrite online ticket system found at www.music.depauw.edu. The price, in advance and at the door, is $20. As with the Green Guest Artist series, tickets continue to be free for seniors, children and all students. 

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