To Be a Light: Evening Canticles for Upper Voices | Regent Records REGCD477

To Be a Light: Evening Canticles for Upper Voices

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Label: Regent Records

Cat No: REGCD477

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 19th August 2016



The Magnificat and Nunc dimittis (affectionately known as the “Mag and Nunc”) are said and sung daily throughout the world during services in most Christian denominations. In the Anglican tradition, they are specifically paired in the service of Evening Prayer.

Throughout the centuries, the vast majority of setting of these canticles were scored either for men’s voices or for full choir. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as the Anglican choral revival in England flourished, weekday services in parishes and schools were often sung only by boy choristers. Since then the introduction of girls’ choirs into British cathedrals and parish churches, and the absence of Layclerks from some services, has resulted in an increased demand to set services for upper voices and organ.

This CD features settings from the 19th and 20th century stalwarts Harris, Howells, and Rose, as well as newer settings written within the last 20 years with several first recordings.

Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir was founded in September 2006, under the direction of Louise Reid, former director of the girls’ choirs in both Wakefield and Guildford Cathedrals. Since 2010, the choir has been directed by Sarah MacDonald, who is also Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge. The 18 girls are members of King’s Ely, in Years 9 to 13. During school term, the girls sing Choral Evensong in the Cathedral with the Layclerks on Mondays, and on their own on Wednesdays. Weekend and additional Holy Day duties occur once or twice a month, and the girls also sing a number of concerts every year, occasionally on their own, and most frequently with the men and boys. As well as their share of cathedral services, ECGC has released a number of critically acclaimed CDs, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and featured on the 2013 BBC2 series of ‘The Choir: sing while you work’ with Gareth Malone.

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