Choir Playlist: The Voices

the voices choir playlistRachel Maby has been the musical director for the Voices choir since September 2016, watching it evolve from 17 to 27 members, and getting to know each and every one. “It’s an incredibly sociable group and caring learning environment to be a part of. I love the community aspect to music-making you get from a choir and the spiritually uplifting sensation you feel performing alongside other passionate singers – I try to bring the same enthusiasm to my choral directing work,” she explains.

Together she and the choir have been focussing on the art of singing a cappella in a variety of styles – from jazz to pop to classical – in the lead up to their next concert. Relatively new to the table, Rachel is paying greater attention to the vocal blend of the group to master challenging six part vocal writing. Now she lends us some of her musical insight here; creating a choir playlist that resembles the Voices’ repertoire and telling us in her own words why each song is special…

Voices Choir Playlist Song 1: A Bridge Over You

“This piece is Adam Morris’ arrangement of Paul Simon’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’. It got a no.1 in the charts when the NHS choir recorded it this time last year. It seems fitting to include, because Voices choir will be premiering Adam Morris’ arrangement of Paul McCartney’s ‘Blackbird’ at the Winter Voices show.”

Available to listen to on Spotify here >>

Voices Choir Playlist Song 2: Locus Iste

“Choral music has been an integral part to my musical upbringing, having sung in choirs from the age of four thanks to incredibly supportive parents – this is one of my favourite works and one of the very first pieces I performed as a young classical singer. Bruckner uses dissonant harmony and dynamic contrasts to really build tension and emotion in the piece. It can feel quite exposing to sing, but each chord sends a tingle down your spine. I think it’s beautiful and majestic.”

Available to listen to on Spotify here >>

Voices Choir Playlist Song 3: Hold Back The River

“This is a Voices choir favourite and fits into our show’s theme of winter and nature songs nicely. I also love the song writing of both Ian Archer and James Bay – we’ve had it especially arranged for piano, violin and cello to give it a bit of a lift from the original vocal arrangements.”

Available to listen to on Spotify here >>

Voices Choir Playlist Song 4: Knocks Me Off My Feet

“This is a great feel-good song, which I first got the choir to sing over the summer. There are lots of juicy, dominant seventh harmonies, and the melody sung by the tenors rises above the choir backings. Stevie Wonder is a great favourite of mine – I could never get bored listening to him!”

Available to listen to on Spotify here >>

Voices Choir Playlist Song 5: The Blue Bird

“I love this five part choral work by Charles Stanford, set to text by Mary E. Coleridge. It was one of the first pieces I brought to choir rehearsals when I started as musical director of the Voices. It’s an ethereal and delicate a cappella work, which will compliment the acoustics in St James’ Church beautifully.”

Available to listen to on Spotify here >>

If you have some singing experience and you’re interested in being part of a production with The Voices, see here >>

Alternatively, see all of our singing courses and choir options here>>