Houston Chamber Choir presents What Sweeter Music with special guest, notEd English conductor Simon Carrington, tonight, March 2, 7:30pm at The Church of St. John the Divine (2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, TX) and Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 pm at the Imperial Arts, Center for the Arts (823 3rd Street, Rosenberg, TX). The Chamber Choir and Simon Carrington offer a sampling of British a cappella music that includes works by Benjamin Britten, Bob Chilcott, James MacMillan and Pete Townshend of The Who.
Simon Carrington first gained wide attention as a member and co-founder of The King's Singers, an internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble in which he sang for 25 years. After leaving The King's Singers Carrington taught at the New England Conservatory in Boston and the University of Kansas before serving as professor of choral conducting at Yale University from 2003 to 2009. Artistic Director Robert Simpson on working with Carrington: "I am eager to bring world-class conductors to Houston to perform with the Houston Chamber Choir, and Simon Carrington has been at the top of my list for some time. It will be exciting for our musicians and our audience to experience his artistry in literature that is so close to his heart."
What Sweeter Music spans five centuries of British a cappella repertoire, from Lamentations of Jeremiah by Elizabethan composer Robert White, to Pete Townshend's Pinball Wizard from The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy. Additional works include Bob Chilcott's (fellow former member of The King's Singers) Weather Report, written for the BBC Singers as an encore at the International Federation for Choral Music World Symposium in Tokyo, and Benjamin Britten's settings of seven poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.M.D.G (Ad majorem Dei gloriam). Simon Carrington explains, "Our program ranges from the piercing melancholy of English renaissance Lamentations to wildly contrasting works from this century by James MacMillan and Bob Chilcott and a celebration of Benjamin Britten's centenary. More corners of the British a cappella tradition are filled with three of Parry's heartfelt Songs of Farewell from the closing years of the First World War and a virtuosic arrangement of The Who's most iconic song: Pinball Wizard."
Tickets for tonight's March 2 concert in Houston are $30 for general admission and $27 for seniors and can be purchased through the Chamber Choir website at www.houstonchamberchoir.org or by calling (713) 224-5566. Tickets for the March 3 concert in Rosenberg can be purchased through the Imperial Arts, Center for the Arts website, www.imperialperformingarts.org, or by calling (281) 277- 7444.