I am excited to head to Oxford in under a week's time! I leave Saturday night at 10:30 pm and will arrive in London at 10:30 am on Sunday. Jet lag here I come! The program I am working with is called the Genesis Sixteen Program. <CLICK HERE> to learn more about the program. The Sixteen is a world renowned professional choir and period instrument orchestra founded by Harry Christophers in the 1970s. To learn more about the Sixteen <CLICK HERE>
The repertoire for the course includes 18 songs for the full chorus (both the Sixteen and the young artists selected to participate, ages 19 - 22). Some of the pieces include Handel's "For Unto Us A Child is Born," Palestrina, Faure's Requiem, "Ave verum corpus" by William Byrd, Gerald Finzi's "My Spirit Sang All Day," and selections from Benjamin Britten's "Flower Songs."
The course is taking place at the Magdalen College at Oxford University (pictured). Magdalen College is known for its choir. Magdalen is one of the four choral foundations in Oxford, meaning that the formation of the choir was part of the statutes of the college, the other three choral foundations being New College, Christ Church, and, since 2007, Merton College. The choir consists of 12 Academical Clerks, or choral scholars, who are students at the College, and 16 boys aged seven to fourteen, all of whom have scholarships at Magdalen College School. The school was originally founded for this express purpose but has long since become an independent public school. The choristers' day begins at 7:30, with an early morning practice before school. There is further practice immediately after school, followed by Choral Evensong six nights a week, in term; the Tuesday service is sung by the boys only, and the Friday service only by the Academical Clerks. On Sundays there is a practice at 09:30 followed by Eucharist, then a further afternoon practice followed by Evensong which ends at 7pm. As of September 2010, the choristers no longer sing on most Saturday evenings following the formation of the 'Consort of Voices', a mixed voice choir which sings on most Saturdays in full term.
The Choir has numerous College duties as well as a recording and touring schedule. Traditionally the Choir sings at College Gaudies and at other special events throughout the year, as well as performing on social occasions such as Carols by Candlelight before Christmas and the famous May Morning. On this occasion the Choir sings madrigals at 6am from the top of the college bell-tower to the assembled mass of students and townsfolk celebrating in the streets below.
The Choir records regularly. In 2005, it was nominated for a prestigious Grammy Award for its CD, With a Merrie Noyse, of music by Orlando Gibbons. Other recent works include the BBC's The Blue Planet and Paul McCartney's classical piece Ecce Cor Meum.
Well this is all I will post about my up and coming adventure. Stay tuned for more!
Here is a great video if you want to know more about the Genesis Sixteen program!
I have been invited to Oxford University, Magdalen College to study the art of choral music with Harry Christophers, Eamonn Dougan, and the Genesis Sixteen Program. I will be in the United Kingdom from August 23 until September 1. Don't worry students, I'll be in school on Tuesday, September 2nd ready to go!