Getting to spend the day with a cappella ensemble VOCES8 was quite remarkable. I got to listen to eight extraordinarily gifted singers collaborate and work towards choral mastery; I left that rehearsal musically filled and inspired. But what really stopped me in my tracks was their commitment to music education.
Quite often, groups of this caliber have educational outreach programs that function as a side dish to the main course. After speaking with Robin Tyson and Louise Hughes, members from the VOCES8 management team, it became abundantly clear that their educational program is a major component of their organizational structure. This commitment is so major, that the group even published a textbook through Edition Peters called The VOCES8 Method. The author of the VOCES8 Method, Paul Smith (pictured below), was excited and passionate about sharing this research-based textbook with over 20,000 students a year, and he hopes to create more of its kind.
On top of it all, I got a chance to hear VOCES8's recent album release, Eventide, on the DECCA label and was blown away by their breath-taking artistry and freakishly superb blend. This album isn't currently available in the United States, but the wait is almost over, and you should be able to purchase it before the month is done. Until then, enjoy this beautiful album-snippets YouTube video:
Amazing ethereal a cappella sound!
My son just gave me the"Eventide" cd, and I can't recommend it enough. I've almost worn it out in the week since I got it. "Hymn to the Fallen" is superb.