Monday 14 December 2015

Michael Head's Snowbirds receives its first recording

National Youth Choirs of Scotland's Girls Choir ┬ ® Drew Farrell.jpg
National Youth Choirs of Scotland's Girls Choir  ® Drew Farrell.jpg
The songs The Ships of Arcady and The Little Road to Bethlehem by Michael Head (1900-1976) are some of the most popular in the 20th century song repertoire. But, as with many such composers, the available repertoire on disc only touches the surface and now Head's cycle Snowbirds is getting its first release on disc in a recording by the National Youth Choir of Scotland's Girls Choir with mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill (who is patron of the choir), Philip Moore (piano) and Christopher Bell (conductor), on Signum Classics. The disc, Only a singing bird, is being officially released on 8 January 2016 which is the choir's 20th anniversary.

Head's Snowbirds consists of seven songs for soloist, female choir and piano, based on the 1919 publication of the same name by Brahmin poet Sri Ananda Acharya (1881-1945). From 1917 until his death, Sri Ananda Acharya lived on Tronsvangen on the slopes of Mt.Tron in Alvdal, Norway and was the first Indian yogi and sannyasi to come to the Nordic countries in modern times.

Also on the disc is music by Gary Carpenter, Ken Johnston and Stephen Deazley including Gary Carpenter's The Food of Love - Book 2 (based on works of William Shakespeare) which the choir premiered in April 2015.

The National Youth Choir for Scotland was formed in 1996 and now has four national choirs, providing annual residential courses, concerts and tours for singers between the ages of 12 and 25. The girls choir was formed in 2007 for singers aged 12-16 years and is open to girls who are resident, studying or born in Scotland. 

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