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22nd February 2013 - "A Sacred Place" promotional video - 3

Our third exclusive sneaky-peek track from the new album, "Heliseb Väljadel" by Urmas Sisask (1960-)



"A Sacred Place" will be available to buy or download from 12th March 2013

 

16th February 2013 - "A Sacred Place" promotional video - 2

A second preview track from the new album. "Silence and Sound" by Ben Sawyer (1978-)



"A Sacred Place" will be available to buy or download from 12th March 2013

 

11th February 2013 - "A Sacred Place" promotional video - 1

In advance of our new album's release in March, here is the first in a short series of promotional tracks for the album. 
Up first is the exquisite "Exsurge Domine" by William Byrd (1540-1623)



"A Sacred Place" will be available to buy or download from 12th March 2013

 

22nd January 2013 - Announcing the first Songmen International Choral Masterclasses

With great pleasure, The Songmen are able to announce that this summer, we will be hosting our fist ever international choral masterclasses week in the stunning Italian town of Todi. Held over five days at the end of August 2013, we want singers with a zeal for a cappella music and a passion to take their singing and performance to the next level to join us there and work on their craft through a series of public masterclasses, exclusive workshops with a dedicated tutor culminating in a final concert on the last night featuring all the groups from the week.

Each day, The Songmen will work with the groups in detail, providing positive support, from general musicality and stage-craft technique, through to detailed musical and performance feedback. Individual singers who participate will be formed into a new a cappella super-group. The group will work together throughout the week towards a fresh and united a cappella sound and performance and will also sing at the final concert.

Read more about the masterclasses, download the booklet and applications from the new Songmen Summer Masterclasses webpages now!

 

15th December 2012 - Sing me a Song - a cappella from around the world for kids

We are delighted that our version of Skye Boat Song is now available on the terrific new album Sing me a Song. The album from Emerald City Productions includes twelve tracks of children's songs from around the world with the proceeds going to support cerebral palsy research.

In addition to The Songmen, this new album includes contributions from other internation vocal groups, such as amarcord, Rajaton, Overboard and The Real Group Kids.

 

15th September 2012 - Recording complete on the new album, "A Sacred Place"

Following a terrific week working with our good friend and producer, Philip Lawson, we have now laid down all the music for our forthcoming second album. The album will include a fine selection of sacred works from the 16th century through to contemporary works, including Silence and Sound by our Ben and Nolo Mortem Peccatoris by Rob. Now the hard work begins on editing and mastering and designing the CD booklet and cover!

A Sacred Place will be released in the first quarter of 2013 and will be available from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and other major retailers, as well as directly from our website.

 

8th March 2012 - The Songmen Welcome a New... Songman...

We're thrilled to announce the appointment of our new member Nick Ashby who will be taking over from Ben Cooper who is leaving us in May. Nick has been spending time with us over the last six weeks rehearsing with us, taking part in photoshoots and dilligently commiting thousands and thousands of bars of music to memory. He's a fabulous appointment for the group and we're utterly excited at the prospect of the coming years with him as one of the six. Nick's first concert is in Dymock Church, Gloucestershire on 21st April 2012.

Here are a few words from Nick (whose biography you can read here):

"I'm very excited about joining The Songmen. I got bitten by the barbershop bug whilst studying at York, where I started a quartet, and after a few years of professional singing in various choirs and ensembles I'm looking forward to rediscovering the skill of close harmony. The Songmen have created a brilliant sound and continue to formulate interesting, diverse and entertaining programmes. It'll be great to join their world of touring, studio recording, and valuable education work."

 

1st February 2012 - The Songmen Nominated For The CARA Awards...

The Songmen are one of three UK a cappella ensembles to be nominated for the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (along with a cappella powerhouses The Swingle Singers and The Boxettes). Their new jazz album 'Midnight' featuring original arrangements of some classic jazz and pop songs is one of four albums selected in the 'Jazz Award' category. Winners are announced in April 2012. More information can be found here: http://www.casa.org/cara2012n

 

6th September 2011 - The Songmen Win Awards At The Tolosa International Choral Contest...

The Songmen have won awards in the prestigious Tolosa International Choral Contest in Spain. The official press release is below:

To go to Europe, where a cappella music is hugely ‘in vogue’, and compete in one of the most prestigious and fiercely contested international choral festivals, is no mean feat, but UK professional outfit, The Songmen, have done just that - twice.

Each year some of the world’s finest ensembles and choirs congregate in the beautiful Basque town of Tolosa, in northern Spain, and compete in the annual prestigious International Choral Contest. This year, The Songmen sang in two classes, the sacred and profane categories, against groups from as far afield as Latvia and The Czech Republic, as well as other groups from the UK, and won prizes in both.

Guy Lewis, one of the group’s founding members reflects on their achievements. “We knew that the groups we were up against were formidable having checked some of them out on YouTube and knowing others already through their well-earned reputations on the European concert scene.”

The group had to prepare meticulously and sing both 20 minute competition sets without music in front of a panel of six internationally renowned judges. The group’s baritone Christopher Monk recalls the group’s preparation for the contest. “We’re used to singing without music as we always perform the second half of our concerts ‘off-copy’ but we had to choose our repertoire carefully and make sure that we covered a range of periods and styles within each competition. The highlight for me was performing a Renaissance French madrigal called ‘La Guerre’ in the profane competition. It is a really difficult 7 minute piece where we depict a battle between French soldiers and a group of Swiss mercenaries at the battle of Marignan in 1515.”

The success in Tolosa is already proving to be a major turning point for the group. Jon Beasley who sings bass said, “We received some fabulous feedback from the large numbers of European agents and concert promoters during the week, and have been offered professional tours in Germany, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Ireland and France in the next 18 months. We are really thrilled.”

The Songmen are quickly gaining an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s finest and most versatile a cappella groups, and they possess a wealth of experience from the worlds of classical, sacred and popular music and balance their love for the old Renaissance masters with a passion for exciting contemporary composers through commissioning and performing their own original material. They are made up of six professional singers: Guy Lewis and Ben Sawyer (countertenors), Rob Waters (tenor), Ben Cooper and Christopher Monk (baritones) and Jon Beasley (bass). They all met singing in choirs in Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucester Cathedral and Worcester Cathedral.

Alongside their recent European victories, The Songmen have just cut two CDs, a pop and jazz disc of original arrangements by members of the group called Midnight, and a sacred disc entitled A Sacred Place. Both discs were produced by Grammy Award winning producers Bill Hare and Robin Tyson and are to be released in early 2012.

The Songmen primarily sing concerts in theatres and churches across the UK and Europe but are also available for corporate engagements as well as educational work which has seen them conduct masterclasses and concerts at schools across the UK in the last 12 months.

 

20th April 2011 - The Songmen School Report...

We received some fabulous feedback for our day of workshops and concerts at Bedford Modern School. Thanks so much to classes 6JT for their glowing report!

6JT's Report on the Songmen: Impressions of the Songmen

A fantastic experience, great ideas, enthusiastic, performances are inspirational, funny, great musical arts teachers, smooth and slick.

The Songmen are great fun because they use their voices in many ways. They are very enthusiastic and they taught us how to project our voices very very well. They were ready to talk to us about what sort of music we should play. They helped us produce many exciting songs and were very useful when we were producing our music.

The Songmen were a fantastic experience. They have great ideas and are musically inspirational. They are exceptionally enthusiastic and very interactive. For an a capella group they are surprisingly good teachers.(!) They taught us a round from familiar songs and it sounded great. We also tried a soundscape to a poem called ‘Sand’ by Carol Ann Duffy. We used instruments but mainly our voices.

It is amazing what the Songmen can teach you to do with your body.(!) It was a brilliant day and we recommend other schools to do some workshops with them.

Members of 6JT

 

 

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