So, who doesn't love a good story?
St. Charles Singers is a 34-voice professional choir (located in St. Charles, IL) now in our 32nd year of performing, preserving, and promoting great choral music. Jeffrey Hunt is the founder and continues as our musical director.
We believe that overlooked treasures in the world of choral music should be unlocked for everyone to hear and enjoy. We want to preserve these treasures in an audio CD format that will endure for a lifetime. Recording Bushes & Briars will bring together one of the flag-bearers of British folk music (Ralph Vaughn Williams) along with 12 other composers who have crafted a collection which creates in us a nostalgia for an earlier time.
Composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Percy Grainger, Gustav Holst, John Byrt, Sir David Wilcocks, John Rutter, and others have written these messages about love, relationships, nature, and places. Our goal is give life to these musical stories and treasures and offer them to the world.
Classic folk music of this kind goes beyond the beautiful sound that is created and takes us deeper into the lives, traditions, customs, and beliefs of a particular people. By presenting and recording this music, our goal is to touch the lives of many, bringing them closer to the thoughts and stories of people from long ago…people who are a lot like us. We hope that you and many new listeners will find this music uplifting and fun to listen to.
You may find yourself humming these tunes throughout your day.
Sample some selections from other recordings by St. Charles Singers:
"Prelude" Ola Gjeilo
"When Rooks Fly Homeward" Arthur Baynon
"Missa Brevis in C Major, Credo K259" W.A. Mozart
"Lamento d'Arianna" Claude Monteverdi
Our title, Bushes & Briars, is a metaphor for the lives described in many folk songs. That is, some days we may nestle in the bushes, taking comfort in our surroundings and our relationships. Other times, life can be difficult. It feels like we’ve stumbled into a prickly briar patch and we just need to get out of it. These songs are conversations about life, sometimes whimsical, and other times quite direct in their message. That is what makes them so charming!
We invite you to become a backer to help us achieve our Kickstarter goal of raising $10,000. That's what it will take to make this recording a reality (actually the total cost is closer to $25,000). If we exceed our goal, even more people will benefit. Extra funds will be used to help complete the recording project earlier than anticipated, to support the ongoing operations of the choir, and to expand SING!, our summer outreach to high school students. SING! is an all-day choral workshop providing students with individual vocal and ensemble singing training from Chicago-area music teachers and professionals.
Thanks for supporting Bushes & Briars!
Here are the songs from Book 1 of Oxford Folk-Songs for Choirs we will record:
- Among the Leaves So Green, O, arr. John Byrt
- Bushes and Briars, arr. Donald James
- Black Sheep, arr. John Rutter
- Bobby Shaftoe, arr. David Willcocks
- Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron, arr. John Rutter
- Early one Morning, arr. David Willcocks
- Greensleeves, arr. R. Vaughan Williams
- Londonderry Air, arr. Percy Grainger
- My Sweetheart’s Like Venus, arr. Gustav Holst
- O Waly Waly, arr. John Rutter
- She’s like the Swallow, arr. Edward Chapman
- Sourwood Mountain, arr. John Rutter
- and from Book 2:
- Afton Water, arr. David Willcocks
- Briggs Fair, arr. Percy Grainger
- Ca’the Yowes, arr. R.Vaughan Williams
- Faithful Johnny, arr. John Byrt
- I love My Love, arr. Gustav Holst
- Strawberry Fair, arr. Donald James
- Swansea Town, arr. Gustav Holst
- The Keel Row, arr. John Byrt
- The Oak and the Ash, arr. Edward Bairstow
- The Three Ravens, arr. Edward Chapman
- The Sailor and Young Nancy, arr. E.J.Moeran
- The Turtle Dove, arr. R.Vaughan Williams
- Yarmouth Fair, arr. Peter Warlock , as adapted by Armstrong Gibbs
Risks and challenges
We're working with Hudson Fair, a world-reknown producer/recordist, so we're expecting a great product. Challenges St. Charles Singers face include ongoing funding (a common challenge for choirs). Many state and local grant organizations have cut back funding to the arts. So we are reaching out to those who savor the treasure of folk songs through this Kickstarter campaign. Fans of St. Charles Singers come from all walks of life. Some love the way we sing Mozart, some the way we sing chant or early 20th century choral songs. Others are amazed at how we perform newly commissioned works.
Our spectrum is wide and now we hope to draw in new listeners of beautiful songs. Bushes & Briars will stretch us by focusing exclusively, with this project, in the folk song genre. (We LOVE new challenges--For example we are just past the middle of The Mozart Journey, a multi-year project in which we are performing all of the known sacred choral music of W.A Mozart).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)