Thursday, February 28, 2008

The King's Singers

I've always believed that a good "concert" is attended not for the band or the atmosphere, but for the music. I enjoy musical groups that strive for excellence in music, and are not only performing for the entertainment value.

One such group that achieves excellence time and time again is "The King's Singers." They may not be familiar to you, and that may be because you may not enjoy classical music. But this six-part men's acappella group originating from King's College in England is the gold standard for small ensemble vocal groups.

And Jessi and I attended their concert at BYU-I on Tuesday night.

As an example of their excellence, after the concert started the group was introduced by a BYU-Idaho student. Everyone burst into applause. The King's Singers walked out on stage and up to their music stands. There were no instruments. No pitch was played. But once the last clap could be heard, the six men burst into six-part perfect harmony.

Now that is hard to do.

While the King's Singers sang, they listened. Listening probably comprises 1/3 of their talent. Why? Because they strive for perfection in their harmonies, and this requires that a group listen to each other. And there is no more amazing musical feeling than to feel, and know, that a music chord has just achieved perfection.

The Singers also excel at breathing. Breathing is one of the other 1/3rds of their talent. They can hold out long notes and their breaths don't make noise. I hate it when you can hear a singer's breathing just as loud as their singing. Also, the Singers used no microphones. They were, of course, in the wonderful Barrus Concert Hall, but they also could sing out because of excellent breath control.

You know you're listening to a classy music group when they explain the composer and background of a song before they sing, and do not spend each non-singing minute blowing their own horn. This, also, is the King's Singers.

They sang intensely soft, and beautifully strong--two very difficult things to do. When they sang as six, they sounded as if they were one. When they sang as three or four, they sounded like an entire choir.

I just cannot say enough about the King's Singers. I hope you get to listen to them someday.


Holly said...

Sounds amazing! I hope I get to listen to them too!

Trav and Darcy said...

I'm so jealous! You guys still live by Ricks and can attend some great FA events. Do you remember the one event with a bunch of students playing their instruments, like a jam session, but they actually mad music. IT was amazing! I don't have talent like that, but I sure admire those who do. I've never heard of the King's singers before, but now I want to see them live. You should submit your critique to a newspaper, it was well written.

deen said...

Just curious, did all 6 perform? Stephen (bass) lost his mother to cancer a few days ago.

The King's Singers are the best kept secret in acapella music.

Kind regards

deen said...

Just curious, did all 6 perform? Stephen (bass) lost his mother to cancer a few days ago.

The King's Singers are the best kept secret in acapella music.

Anonymous said...

Cool! See this... Kings Singers video