The English Arts Chorale's Aim
The EAC needs your help to raise £10,000 towards funding the first ever recording of a new work by Paul Carr – his intensely beautiful Stabat Mater, together with other contemporary choral works.
About The English Arts Chorale
The EAC is an ambitious, auditioned choir based in Reigate, Surrey. Founded by its conductor, Leslie Olive, in 1980, the EAC has broadcast for BBC radio, sung at the Royal Festival Hall, Snape Maltings and the Barbican, and worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductors including Klaus Tennstedt and Sir Roger Norrington. Our soloists have included a galaxy of highly-regarded names including Sir Willard White, Susan Gritton, Sheila Armstrong, and Ian Bostridge. The coming year will include performances of Britten’s War Requiem in Tewkesbury Abbey and Winchester Cathedral in collaboration with Brian Kay’s Burford Singers, the choristers of Bristol Cathedral and soloists including James Gilchrist. The EAC takes pride in its vocal blend and has frequently been praised for the quality of its sound.
In recent years, the EAC has extended its repertoire to focus on the work of contemporary, living composers, seeking to promote this music to classical music lovers and performers alike through the choir’s performances. This recording project seeks to take that aspiration one step further, enabling the dissemination of this music worldwide in the hope that it will become embedded in the choral repertoire internationally.
In 2017, Paul Carr composed a new work – a Stabat Mater – for the EAC. This work, which lasts about 30 minutes, will provide the centrepiece of the album. The 13th century text meditates on the suffering of Mary as she stands at the foot of the Cross grieving for her dying son. For Carr, this theme of the grieving mother holds a universal significance; it is with contemporary parallels in mind that he has captured the intensity of feeling conveyed in the text. There is no doubt that listeners and performers alike have responded to this profound resonance in his work: both of the performances of the Carr Stabat Mater to date – one in Reigate and the other at St John’s Chapel, Cambridge – were received with standing ovations.
The EAC believes that this work deserves – and will attract – a wide audience among listeners and performers. A high-quality recording will help propel it to new performers and audiences worldwide.
We expect that it will be broadcast on radio stations such as Classic FM, where Paul Carr’s works have
already earned acclaim, and Radio 3. It will also be promoted and distributed nationally and internationally
by Stone Records.
We are sure that many other choirs will want to perform this music once they hear it. It is accessible to a wide range of choral groups, both professional and amateur: it has been written in a melodic style with a real ‘ear’ for gorgeous choral blend. It does not require vocal soloists and is scored for a small string ensemble with harp and two oboes.
The album will also include other choral works by living composers. Alongside the Stabat Mater, and a second Carr work composed for the EAC –a setting of William Blake's 'The Lamb' – the EAC will record a variety of shorter choral works by contemporary composers such as Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Ola Gjeilo, James Macmillan and Bob Chilcott. Although shorter in length, these pieces have become very close to the EAC's heart and frequently feature in its repertoire. Their inclusion is intended to give choirs and listeners at home and internationally a taste of further accessible modern works by living composers that they might not yet have encountered.
Why do we need your help?
Producing a high-quality recording incurs considerable expense. The EAC must bear the costs involved in producing the recording, while Stone Records will then promote and distribute the album worldwide. The recording is costing around £20,000 and the EAC has already raised £10,000 of this through our own fundraising efforts. We therefore need help to raise the other £10,000, and hope you will be able to support us in making this project a reality.
Members of the choir are not paid, but the EAC will need to hire a venue with a suitable acoustic and pay for the services of a professional recording engineer and producer as well as for the professional musicians who will be involved in the project. We are delighted that the award-winning, Grammy nominated Audio Producer and bass singer Adrian Peacock has agreed to work with us on this album.
Thank you for supporting this important project. We really do need supporters like you!
Please make a pledge and share our campaign with others you may know.
If you have any questions about this project, or about the English Arts Chorale, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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