Arts & Entertainment: University of Cambridge choir travels ‘across the pond’ for concert tour

The Choir of Christ’s College from University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) will hold three performances in Tacoma during its 2012 tour of the United States and Canada. There will be two concerts on July 15: 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church (20 Tacoma Ave. S.) and 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran (12115 Park Ave. S.); and one on July 16 at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church (524 S. ‘I’ St.). Suggested donation at the door is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.

The Choir of Christ’s College is comprised of 28 members between the ages of 18 and 23. They include both undergraduate and graduate students studying a wide range of subjects.

Music has played an important role at Christ's College since the earliest days of its 500-year history. Founder Lady Margaret Beaufort left the college a bequest of three organs on her death in 1509. The choir’s main purpose is to sing services in the College Chapel. Choral Evensong is sung on Thursday and Sunday evenings, and Choral Eucharist services take place on a less frequent basis. More generally, the choir makes an important contribution to the life of the college, singing at feasts, weddings, memorial services and other occasions. Today, as one of Cambridge’s fine mixed-voice ensembles, the group also pursues an exciting range of activities outside college, performing concerts in Cambridge and around the U.K., recording CDs and broadcasting.

The choir has two full programs that will be sung throughout the tour, and these include a broad range of secular and church music.

Highlights will include: Sir Hubert Parry’s “Songs of Farewell” and “Blest Pair of Sirens;” requiem masses by Herbert Howells and Kodaly; early polyphonic music by Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd; and French Romantic music by Camille Saint-Saens and Gabriel Faure, from the choir’s latest recording.

This concert is part of the choir’s annual major summer tour, this year to the West Coast of Canada and the United States. The choir undertakes a major tour every year, last year to Eastern Australia, and in 2010 to France, Germany and Switzerland.

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