Tallis Consort on song for advent recitals

Tallis Consort rehearsal

Tallis Consort rehearsal

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Choral music from the 16th century to the present day forms the programme for Tallis Consort’s December concerts.

The Consort, which was founded in the island 25 years ago and has developed over the years to just under 20 singers, will perform two concerts with special guest singer Emma Christian.

The Advent recitals a capella style take place at Castletown Methodist Church on Saturday at 3pm, and at St Mary’s Church, in Hill Street, Douglas, on Monday December 8 at 7.30pm.

Director Brian Head, who was a member of King’s College Cambridge choir, said: ‘The a capella tag is a rather smart term for unaccompanied, and the rich variety of choral music that comprises the programme for December’s concerts will range from the 16th century to the present day.

‘It will range from music first performed in the candlelit spaces of mediaeval cathedrals and chapels to carols that have sprung from village greens and today’s parish churches.

‘There will be music from the English speaking world to the Baltic shores and the New World, and it will be sung in English, Latin, German and Russian – though not all at the same time!’

This will be the second year the Tallis Consort has sung in Castletown, when nearly 300 people came to the concert.

The Tallis Consort will be joined by eminent Manx singer Emma Christian, who is best known for her magical live performances of Manx traditional song, often in atmospheric historic venues.

Whether via her international touring, broadcasting or recordings, Emma has been described as ‘taking music back to something pure indeed’.

Emma will be accompanied by the choir in two items, and will perform solo, ‘Oikan Ayns Bethlehem’.

The Tallis Consort makes no charge for admission, but there will be a retiring collection to cover costs, and to make a contribution to the work of the two venue churches.

The recent Tallis Consort CD showcasing some of the choir’s recent performances, has sold widely this year and raised a good sum for the Peel Cathedral Choristers’ Fund, which helps with the music education of the young people who give their services to the Cathedral Choir.

Brian said Tallis Consort aspires to the highest standards of choral singing, and the weekly rehearsals emphasise the skills of listening to each other while singing, and developing each piece from the first sight reading of the notes, to a polished musical performance, without using any form of accompaniment. Several members of the Consort have experience singing in college or university choirs, and many are also very capable instrumentalists and music teachers.

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