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About 24 and Why Classical A Cappella?

On a mission

As Joni said - you don't know what you've got til it's gone...

and during Lockdowns we tried everything to keep our spirits up - singing in gardens, balconies, even a polytunnel (you had to be there).  It was a painful lesson to find out what a silent world would be like.

So we've grabbed the chance to remind people what classical a cappella can really do.

We're all auditioned and semi-professional singers from the Oxford-Stratford-Northampton area with a love of singing in small groups unaccompanied. The repertoire is Renaissance, Classical and Contemporary - from Taverner to Tavener - with an emphasis on making these glorious pieces come to life. From not being allowed to move air at all, we are now all about moving air to move souls.

We aim to have three voices per eight parts and sing in double choir, quartet, octet,  upper and lower voice sub-choirs - whatever works to get the composer's heartfelt intentions across. We intentionally bring both younger singers and veterans together to find a mix of experience and energy too.

In our first concert we compared Allegri's Famous Sistine Chapel Allegri with McMillan's sublime contemporary view, in a program ranging from Rachmaninoff to Tallis and from Whitacre to Gibbons. We're tackling Martin's Mass for Double choir soon, alongside Barber's Agnus, Purcell's Dido and Tavener's haunting Athene. Bringing these superb pieces to life is the aim. Challenging pieces, sure, but all designed to move hearts, and that's the performance element we're aiming for most.

We promise you dynamic and engaging interpretations of beautiful music to feed the soul - helping you face the world refreshed and renewed.

Our Musical Director

Helen Swift started her singing career in Liverpool as a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain at the age of fourteen and had early success in the BBC Choirgirl of the Year competition.  She then went onto win a choral scholarship to Clare College Cambridge where she studied music and then studied opera in London and Dublin.

 

Now based in Oxfordshire, she has an accomplished international reputation while also leading choirs locally. She believes passionately in the power of music to uplift and transform.

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