Sing, Ye Birds
A concert performed by the Yale Schola Cantorum
Simon Carrington, guest conductor
Christ Church Episcopal
Broadway at Elm, New Haven
Simon Carrington returns to conduct Schola Cantorum in a program of timeless English music – music that the conductor notes regrettably eluded programming during his years as Schola’s regular conductor.
Extracts from John Taverner’s glorious Western Wind Mass from the early Renaissance are contrasted with a sublime antiphon by Tallis and a Magnificat and verse anthem by his later compatriot Orlando Gibbons. The central work is Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s setting of one of the greatest of English Romantic poems: William Wordsworth’s famous ode “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” Schola Cantorum will be joined by Yale University Organist Thomas Murray for this extended work composed in 2000 for choir and organ.
The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
Simon Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player, and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and more recently in the USA. From 2003-2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, which he brought to national and international prominence. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music, and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, he guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions. From 2001 until his Yale appointment, he was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he was selected by the students for the Krasner Teaching Excellence Award, and from 1994 to 2001 he held a similar position at the University of Kansas.
Prior to coming to the United States, he was a creative force for twenty-five years with the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King’s Singers, which he co-founded at Cambridge University. With the group he gave 3,000 performances at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than seventy recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs including nine appearances on theTonight Show with the late Johnny Carson!
Now a Yale professor emeritus and based in France he maintains an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world. He has conducted the Monteverdi Vespers in Barcelona, the Fauré Requiem in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Handel’s Messiah in Dublin, Rachmaninov Vespers in Victoria, Canada, and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevski in Poland. He is a regular guest conductor at the Monteverdi Choir Festival in Budapest and the Tokyo Cantat in Japan, and leads annual conducting courses at the Chamber Choir Festival in Sarteano (Italy), and the Yale Summer Festival in Norfolk, Connecticut. This season he has conducting engagements in Canada, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and Europe as well as his customary round of performances in the US.