Vocal student James Newby and alumnus Chloe Morgan have been selected for Gareth Malone's new choir, Voices, and also feature in the web series showing the process of creating the choir from the audition stages to recording a full album. The album will be released in November and is Classic FM's Album of the week this week (28 Oct 2013).
Classic FM says choirmaster extraordinaire Gareth Malone has big ambitions for the future of choral music; he's out to bring the genre into the 21st century, developing a completely new style and sound-world for choirs, adapting contemporary music and employing cutting edge production by multi-Mercury Prize nominee, David Kosten.
"This first album from Voices features covers of songs by such artists as Keane, Fleet Foxes and Alicia Keys. There are also guest solos from Amber Le Bon and Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots. It's haunting and ethereal at times with Fleetwood Mac's You Can Go Your Own Way and Radiohead's No Surprises as stand-out moments.
"Curiously for an exercise in modernising the genre, it's the more traditional, purely a capella tracks that work more successfully than those that add beats and accompaniment. But overall, the album offers a selection of enjoyable new repertoire for choral singers and should excite many more young people to open their mouths and sing." (Classic FM).
In the Daily Telegraph this week Malone also describes the challenge of encouraging an enthusiasm for classical music: "It's difficult for people coming to classical music," he said. "They are hearing it in the wrong way. They've got their little tiny television in the corner - or maybe it's a massive plasma screen with those useless speakers - and they're listening to Joseph Calleja.
"He's a fantastic opera singer but all you're hearing is the top of the sound, you're not really getting the physical presence. You have to go and see it live.