The Queen's Six vocal sextet head for Chichester

The Queen's Six
The Queen's Six

Promised as one of the most exciting vocal groups in the country, The Queen’s Six join Chichester’s Amici concert series for a date at the Chapel of the Ascension, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester on Thursday, September 29 at 8pm.

The a cappella vocal sextet are promising to show their full range, sacred music from the 16th to the 20th centuries, plus secular, folk song, pop and jazz.

Their Chichester date comes just a day after they complete the recording process for their latest CD, a collection of folk songs.

Based at Windsor Castle, the group formed in 2008 and are lay clerks of St George's Chapel, as spokesman Simon Whiteley explains.

“We all get to live together, and about eight years ago, we all got together because we wanted to sing some of the things that we would not normally get to sing in the chapel, the lighter side of the repertoire.

“It’s the same six of us if we possibly can. Something which is quite important for an ensemble like this is continuity in terms of the members. You learn how each other sings quite quickly, and so we are keen to keep it the same six if we possibly can. We live right next door to each other so we can easily get together.

“It was originally the idea of a guy called Stewart Conley-Harper who was a lay clerk at Chichester. After Chichester, he came to Windsor, and I think a lot of the arrangements we started with were Stewart’s arrangements from his time at Chichester. He set up the group, though it changed quite dramatically about four years ago when Stewart left Windsor. Three other members of the group left as well. We had a big change-around and reworked the ensemble. Two of us were members of the original group, and four others have come in.

“How much we do varies throughout the year, depending on what else is going on. We do an annual trip to Germany and/or Austria. Dan in the group grew up in Bavaria and has lots of contacts out there. This year we did our third annual trip to Germany and Austria. We did ten concerts in a two-week period.”

Otherwise, it is a question of building up dates for the ensemble: “It takes a long time to build up a group like this, but we are getting there. We have our commitments at Windsor which means we are not hugely available during term time, but our aim is to fill our holidays. We still say The Queen’s Six is the fun side of what we do. We are hoping to go to America in 2018 and start building up a name for ourselves there, and there are various other options in Europe. We are hoping to move on from Germany and Austria. We are hoping to be reaching other countries as well within the next five or six years.”

Their second album for Resonus Classics came out in April: “Our first disc was last year, sacred music by six specific composers associated with the royal court. The latest CD was the same six, but madrigals and so on, the lighter side of their work – but still all 16th century, Tudor and Jacobean. It is good to show that there is a fun side to that period as well.

“Recording is very important to us. We have got a recording project coming up of folk songs. We are making that one ourselves. We have got a producer, but we are doing all the logistics ourselves. It is very much in the early stages, but we are hoping for 2018 for that.”

www.thequeenssix.co.uk, Tickets from The Novium: 01243 775888; Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH; www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/270724.

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