Nottingham's 2017 UK & Netherlands Gold Medal Winning A Cappella Chorus with their Musical Director Glen gave us a fascinating evening on Saturday 22nd July.
In the first half, we were treated to an overview of the development of the Music that led to modern day A cappella. Staring with plainsong (Gregorian Chant) where everyone sings exactly the same thing, with the help of the chorus, Glen introduced us to musical intervals (5th, 3rd and so on) and how these are used in polyphony where people sing in harmonious melodies. Using some sound clips, he then showed us how the 'Close Harmony A-Cappella' or Barbershop style developed. It is called barbershop, because on payday them med had to join long queue to have their haircut. They had nothing else to do for entertainment, so they sang popular songs and invented the harmonies and decorations we recognise today. A-Cappella indicates that they sing unaccompanied (with no musical instruments), and Close Harmony that the parts stay within two and a half octaves - about half of the range of a traditional SATB Choir. The chorus then demonstrated the four parts of their 'choir': tenor, lead, baritone and bass, and how they are quite different from the Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass.
After the interval the chorus had changed into their 'concert attire' and sang through some of their repertoire, culmination in a performance of their medal winning pieces. It was magic!
With a raffle and a surprise donation to 'round up the amount, we were able to raise £300.00 for Christian Aid - the UK churches humanitarian assistance and development agency. Raised mainly by UK Christians, the aid is given to according to need without reference to race, colour or creed.