Caritas Chamber Choir will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020.
Caritas Chamber Choir is based in Kent and is passionate about raising money for charities through singing, composing and performing to the highest level both in the UK and throughout the world.
The choir performs music from all periods and holds an annual Competition for Emerging Composers. Our finalists for the competition have come from as far afield as the United States of America, Asia, Africa and Australia, which provided our winning entry in 2019. Our links with these composers have led to Caritas commissioning new works from many friends around the world.
The first 2 Caritas albums are available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
On average the group presents between 15 and 20 concerts per year as well as services from time to time in Canterbury and Lille Cathedrals. The Founder and Music Director is Benedict Preece.
In October 2017, Caritas were invited by the Juan March Foundation in Madrid to take part at the opening of an Arts and Crafts exhibition featuring the work of William Morris. They specifically requested a group of songs that had been composed by Gustav Holst, and which used poems by William Blake. You can see and hear the recording made in Madrid on our attached video.
Whilst engaged in learning and performing these works, we became aware that there were no existing recordings of any of the songs we were performing. Upon further investigation, it became clear that Gustav Holst was a prolific writer of short songs, many of which have not been performed in public for decades, and very few of which have ever been professionally recorded.
In collaboration with The Holst society, Caritas is delighted to have been asked to record a whole album of songs by Gustav Holst, which will be released in 2020. This exciting project will help to uncover some of the less well-known works of one of our nation's most beloved composers. It will, we hope, help to encourage fans of Holst to go beyond The Planets, and to explore some of his beautiful lesser known works. We hope to inspire a growth in the revival of choral works from the 20th Century, by expanding this project further in 2020/2021 to include the works of other composers from the same period. We also hope to encourage emerging composers of the 21st century to write music in this genre, continuing from our success with The Caritas International Emerging Composer Competition.
Our Music Director, Benedict Preece has edited several of these songs from copies of Holst’s original manuscript, making this a very unique project.
We are asking for financial support to record, manufacture and distribute an album of Holst songs. It is a big project, and potentially has a far wider reach than our existing fan base. We would like to be able to include a high end launch with the media interest that Gustav Holst and Caritas deserve. If we raise enough money we would like to extend the project to commission some new works using Gustav Holst as an inspiration for emerging composers.
Thank you for reading, and I hope that you will be interested in supporting this exciting project.