2019 Kent Hall Masters Series Presents The Swingles
The Chorus of Westerly welcomes to Westerly’s Kent Hall the five-time Grammy® winning ensemble, The Swingles (formerly called The Swingle Singers), on Sunday, March 31, at 4 pm. The performance is part of the 2018-19 Kent Hall Masters Series in this the historic 60thseason of the Chorus. Tickets are now on sale at
by calling 401.596.8663 or at the George Kent Performance Hall Box Office located at 119 High Street in Westerly, Rhode Island.
For more than half a century, The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. The seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy® winners since they first made waves in the 1960s. At a time when a cappella music is more popular than ever, The Swingles are recognized as masters of their craft.
Released in March 2017, The Swingles’ latest project is Folklore, a diverse collection of folk music from around the world, inspired by their international travels and featuring collaborations with traditional artists. With creative arrangements that transport these well-loved songs into the group’s unique and rich sound world, the results are powerful and surprising. The Swingles’ announce their program from the stage during the performance, which will showcase arrangements of songs by their favorite singer / songwriters. Featured pieces will include America by Paul Simon, Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac and Red Rain by Peter Gabriel, alongside classic pieces such as The Swingles’ deconstructed version of If Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis, Piazzolla’s Libertango and folk songs all the way from Bulgaria and Afghanistan.
Doors will open at 3:30 pm on Sunday, March 31. The program consists of two 45-minute halves with a brief intermission. For more information or to inquire about tickets please call the Kent Hall Box Office at 401.596.8663. Business hours are Monday thru Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
This concert is being presented with major support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
ABOUT THE SWINGLES
In 1963, American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the Swingle Singers to fame. Since then, they have won five Grammy® awards and made more than 50 recordings, with a repertoire that has grown to include a huge variety of music, including new original songs. They have also appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Sex and the City, Milk, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee. In 2017, they co-wrote and performed a song for the end credits of Alexander Payne’s film Downsizing.
The group’s versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth. Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting with his groundbreaking Sinfonia. The group continue to perform the piece to great acclaim around the world, with recent performances at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall and Milan’s La Scala; they look forward to bringing it to new audiences for its 50th anniversary in 2018-19.
In addition to a busy touring schedule that regularly takes them to North and South America, Europe and Asia, The Swingles present their own London A Cappella Festival at Kings Place each January in partnership with Ikon Arts Management. The festival is the first of its kind in the capital, welcoming the finest vocal talent from around the world.
ABOUT THE CHORUS OF WESTERLY
The 190-voice Chorus of Westerly is the nation’s only intergenerational symphonic choral ensembles. For each concert in its professional concert season, children ages 8 to 18 sing alongside adult singers as ensemble members of equal rank and expectations. Founded in 1959 by George Kent and today directed by Andrew Howell, the Chorus has had more than 2,500 area residents sing in its program, with more than 1,500 singing as child members. In its 60 seasons, the Chorus has presented nearly 700 performances to over 1.7 million people. The Chorus has performed in concert over 100 major choral works with fully professional orchestra and soloists, and has presented 13 major American premieres. While its home is in Rhode Island, the Chorus has toured internationally five times, singing in such venues as Smetana Hall in Prague, Stephansdom in Vienna, Westminster Abbey, and St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican while also receiving countless awards for its work. The Chorus has also established regional traditions such as their annual Summer Pops performance which is attended annually by 25,000 people. In addition to its extensive performance season, the Chorus also offers a broad reaching musical education program to its singing members and area children. This includes an “in rehearsal” music fundamentals class for all child and adult singers focusing on sight-singing, theory, and other musical techniques, as well as an introductory music and movement class for children Kindergarten to Grade 2. The Chorus is also one of only three American choral organizations to own and operate its own performance venue – the historic George Kent Performance Hall.