Over the last few years or so I’ve been involved with a number of singing groups. In addition to BYU Singers and BYU Concert Choir, I’ve also had the opportunity to found the Wasatch Chamber Singers and conduct Sforzando (a non-audition service choir). I’ve had a great time with all of these groups and learned quite a bit from each of them.
A few years ago, while studying a great deal of Renaissance and Baroque music I noticed a certain voicing that seemed to be a little more common place than today. I first noticed it when listening to excerpts from Historia di Jepthe by Carissimi. In that work, the choir is divided six ways: SSATBB. I marveled at the color this voicing has. I noticed it again in the soloist parts for “Saul, Was Verfolgst Du Mich” by Schütz. In BYU Singers we learned “Un soir de neige,” by Poulenc that did the exact same thing (Poulenc actually marks it “SSATBB soli or choir”), and “Evening Wind” by J.A.C. Redford. I’ve found a few more pieces since then that are written in this style that I think offer a distinct timbre to choral music.
About a year or so ago, I got the idea of creating an ensemble based around singing this sort of music: an ensemble of only six people in this voicing. I realize that the King’s Singers is a group with six singers, but they’re Ct,Ct,T,Bar,Bar,B. I wanted to offer something similar but in a different vein. After all this time waiting and mulling about I finally got together with five other singers this last Saturday and tried it out. It worked amazingly well.
We’ve got some great literature to sing and a long way to go still, but we finally have weekly rehearsals and a shared vision of what we can be. It’s very exciting. I’ll post more soon.
P.S. We still need a name. Any ideas?