• The Sixteen will perform with amateur singers in Writing for Voices concert for the premiere of three new commissions based on St John Henry Newman’s Meditations
  • The return of the Sounds Sublime festival sees workshops highlighting connections in-person and online
  • More opportunities than ever to celebrate music-making with The Sixteen

On Saturday 2 July, acclaimed ensemble The Sixteen will be joined by amateur singers from across the UK for the world premiere of three new works in their concert Writing for Voices. The performance will be the culmination of a day of workshops and rehearsals with conductor and founder of The Sixteen, Harry Christophers, and Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar, Olivia Tait.

The three new works written by Anna Semple, Lisa Robertson and Eoghan Desmond were commissioned by the Genesis Foundation as a way of cementing their commitment to providing new choral works for future generations and in celebration of the writings and philosophies of St John Henry Newman. The three composers were selected by Harry Christophers, and composer James Macmillan, who mentored them throughout the process.

The new commissions draw on the words of a meditation that Cardinal Newman wrote in the late 1840s and begins “God has created me to do Him some definite service.”. The Genesis Foundation has commissioned more than thirty pieces of sacred choral music in its 20-year history. The three works, alongside compositions by James Macmillan and Will Todd, can be heard on A Meditation, a new choral album (released 3 June) on the CORO label.

The commissions were designed to be performed by professional and amateur choirs alike and will be premiered at the concert at St Stephen’s, Wallbrook. In addition to these works, The Sixteen will perform a programme of complimentary Renaissance and contemporary repertoire in an hour-long programme.

Later in the month, The Sixteen continue their outreach work with their acclaimed Sounds Sublime festival, this year in partnership with Kings Place. From 11am on 23 July, the day-long festival will feature a number of performances and workshops on the theme of connections. Across intimate spaces, participants will enjoy performances from the newly formed Exodus Ensemble, Corvus Consort, and Genesis Sixteen, The Sixteen’s Young Artist Programme. Participation workshops will be led by members of The Sixteen, Horizon Voices, and Black Voices. Throughout the day Kings Place will be filled with the beauty of unaccompanied choral music, with activities and performances for the whole family to enjoy. 

In addition to the in-person celebration of connection, Sounds Sublime will be celebrating choral music on The Sixteen’s social platforms on 24 July. The day will highlight the importance of long-distance and digital connections. Global audiences will be able to watch specially curated performances from Genesis Sixteen, in addition to performances from Exodus Ensemble, Corvus Consort, Cantus Firmus, Capella Caecilliana and Queenes Chappell.