Let’s look back shall we?

DSC_01942015 has been an extraordinary year. It was the year in which John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump and I took the Conductus project on the road. We sang concerts and led workshops in Bratislava, Beverley, Durham, Brussels, Radovlijca (Slovenia), and Brighton.

It is also the year in which I joined Cantabile – The London Quartet. This is a group with whom I sang back in 2012 and thought it unlikely that I would get the opportunity again. Since September, I have done 13 shows with them in Belgium, Germany and the UK including a charity concert for Bloodwise in the Royal Albert Hall in front of c. 6,000 supporters. And there was that trip to California in May…

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Photo by Jonathan Knowles during a Cantabile – The London Quartet photo shoot.

I have also had the privilege of singing with Gothic Voices this year! This is a group whose recordings were always a first port of call for me while studying medieval music at university. And in 2015 I was offered the opportunity to sing with them. Extraordinary!

I also had the pleasure of performing and recording with The Brabant Ensemble and Ex Cathedra singing diverse music by the likes of Pierre de la Rue, Carl Orff (Carmina Buranna), James MacMillan and Alec Roth. And I made my first visit to Dartington with Ex Cathedra in the summer – what an amazing place.

I won’t bore you any further, but you can see that it has been a very exciting year and 2016 promises to be similarly so. We expect the final instalment of the Conductus series to be released by Hyperion on 26th February, and are looking forward to more concerts and workshops in Cambridge and Besalú (Spain). We also have plans to explore new repertoire so watch this space for more news on that. Cantabile’s diary continues to fill up with engagements in Europe, the first of these on New Year’s Day in Bad Kreuznach in Germany. I have also been invited back to sing with Gothic Voices again and will be travelling with the Brabant Ensemble too. There are also tentative dates for Ex Cathedra so a busy year ahead.

Which just leaves me to say that I am constantly overwhelmed by the unerring support that I receive from my family, friends and colleagues while undertaking these singing activities. I know every day that I am very lucky to be pursuing this career and am extremely grateful for the constant love and support!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

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#Conductus2015 begins

conductus rehearsalSo, after a relatively quiet* January and February,  my journey with the Three Medieval Tenors for 2015 is about to begin. We sing our first live show in the Dom in Bratislava on Monday the 16 March. This is the first in a series of shows we will be doing across the UK and Europe throughout 2015 and the early part of 2016. All of these performances will include a workshop allowing audiences a chance to experience this extraordinary repertoire in a more interactive way. These are open to all and will likely to free of charge, so please do come and join in at a show near you. So far, our itinerary looks like this; Beverley Early Music Festival, Durham, Brussels (as part of the MedRen conference), Radovljika – Slovenia, Nieder-Olm – Germany, Brighton Early Music Festival and Cambridge (2016). This is just the start and we are in negotiations with a number of other promoters to secure further dates. I’ll update as soon as I can. You can also find out more by following the Three Medieval Tenors on twitter @3MedievalTenors

Following this, I will be heading to London to perform Carmina Burana With Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Royal Ballet. If the other large scale Ex Cathedra collaborations are anything to go by, these 4 performances at the Coluseium in London will be awesome. It was a great privilege to sing two new works written for Ex Cathedra earlier in the year too – by MacMillan and Panufnick. A live recording was made and I hope to be able to share this sometime in the future. It is music that really must be heard by a much wider audience.

Finally, I’m pleased to be joining Cantabile – The London Quartet again in April for a performance in California. It has been nearly three years since I sang with the group and things have changed a little since then. I’m really looking forward to meeting their new member Sarah-Ann Cromwell, and to relearning some of TLQ’s classic repertoire together!

*Other activities included singing at the consecration of the first woman Bishop in the Church of England, recording another disk of Christmas music with the Minster Choir , recording material for two disks relating to the Siege of York in 1644 with the Ebor Singers as well as a number of teaching and coaching sessions. I’m going to update my website soon with a page dedicated to my teaching and coaching activities, so if you’re interested in finding out more, watch this space…

#TLQUSA2012

The London Quartet meet Miss Kansas

For the past 5 weeks, I have had the pleasure of touring with Cantabile – The London Quartet in the American Midwest. The tour encompassed 19 dates in different cities across 7 States (with a brief jaunt back to Germany for a show in Wunsiedel). As you can imagine, this means we covered several thousand miles in the car (6,700ish) as well as racked up 8 flights worth of airmiles.

Our programme was a celebration of harmony groups from the twentieth century through to the present day. This included songs by groups such as The Mills Brothers, The Manhatten Transfer, The Beach Boys, Billy Joel, The Comedian Harmonists and Prelude to name but a few. We also performed arrangements that have recently been published in TLQ’s Great British A Cappella Songbook!

The several challenges for me of performing this music began with having to memorise the majority of it. This is not something I have had to do very often and I found the thought rather daunting. However, after sever hours on my own and several more in a hugely supportive rehearsal environment with the group, I was able to crack it. Even with a dress rehearsal though, nothing can quite prepare one for the first performance off copy. It was an extremely exhilarating moment for me, and one that continued from show to show as we settled into it.

The show in Germany was a showcase for Peter Martin Jacos’ A Cappella Nacht where we shared the stage with the German group SixPack and The House Jacks from America who are credited as being the first a cappella rock group to use a beatboxer. Both of these groups were amazing; fantastic musicians and really brilliant entertainers. It was also really interesting to hang out with The House Jacks afterwards and find out about their various other musical activities. These are all very busy and influential guys, and it was a pleasure to meet them.

For me, the highlight of the whole touring experience was the people I was able to meet and work with along the way. It was fantastic to get to know Richard, Mark and Mike over an extended period and I look forward to drinking with them again in the future. It was also great to meet so many interesting and knowledgeable members of the audience, many of whom have followed The London Quartet for a number of years. I hope some of those who were newly introduced to the group will continue to support and follow them too. I certainly look forward to keeping in-touch with them and seeing what gems they have in store for the future. You can follow them on twitter @thelondon4tet and via their blog.

While on the road, I was also able to dream up some new projects of my own that I will talk about in more detail in due course. Do keep a regular eye on this news page and my twitter feed (@cpogorman) for some exciting announcements soon.