Fans of good choral music are in luck. Two of Charleston’s finest small vocal ensembles are performing concerts this weekend and next that promise to satisfy that longing for expressive harmonies, meaningful texts and dynamic musicianship.
First up is a spin-off group of King’s Counterpoint, a choir of high voices called Cantores Charleston. The ensemble mostly is made up of female singers but includes four male countertenors. Everyone is drawn from the tri-county area.
The concert is 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, 126 Coming St. Titled, “Heavenly Voices: Songs and Carols Celebrating Epiphany,” the program features Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” written for three voice parts and harp.
Other music to be performed includes works by Dufay, Hildegard von Bingen, Bob Chilcott, John Rutter and Alan Smith.
The idea for Cantores Charleston came to Music Director David Acres and Artistic Director Judith Acres after a couple of successful “Angel Voices” concerts and a glance at the area’s musical landscape, which was missing a high-quality, professional treble choir, they said.
“Judith and I have staged two concerts for high voices, drawn from The King’s Counterpoint, over the last three years to great critical acclaim,” said music director David Acres. “We decided last year to found a new and unique Charleston-based choir of high voices, and Cantores Charleston was born!”
Tickets for the “Heavenly Voices” program are $15-$25 and available online at www.thekingscounterpoint.com/tickets or at the door on the day of the concert.
At 3 p.m. on the following Sunday, Jan. 27, the Taylor Festival Choir offers its third program of the season, called “Music for Royal Occasions,” hosted by Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St. The concert will be led by Robert Taylor and by guest conductor Joseph Flummerfelt, best known for his work with the Westminster Choir and Spoleto Festival USA.
The program features music performed at the weddings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and at the coronations of Queen Elizabeth I and II and King George II.
The repertoire includes Handel’s coronation anthems “Zadok the Priest” and “Let Thy Hand be Strengthened,” the “Credo” from Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G, “Behold our Great Defender” by Herbert Howell, and “Halellujah” from Beethoven’s “Mount of Olives.”
“I am thrilled to be back in Charleston to share this interesting program with my dear colleague Rob Taylor and his Taylor Festival Choir,” Flummerfelt said in a statement. “With this choir, his years at the College of Charleston, and as director of the Charleston Symphony Chorus, Rob has had a major impact on the choral life of Charleston.”
Taylor said he has long esteemed his senior colleague, who established the Westminster Choir as among the best in the U.S.
“It is one of the great privileges of my career to share the podium with the great Joe Flummerfelt,” Taylor said. “I am equally gratified that he will be conducting the ensemble created to honor my parents. What a special moment for the Taylor Festival Choir!”
Tickets are $25 for general seating, $35 for preferred seating. Following the concert, a reception featuring light appetizers and wine will be held in Flummerfelt’s honor at the Anglin Smith Fine Art Gallery, 9 Queen St. Reception tickets are $25. Concert and reception tickets can be purchased at www.tmgcharleston.com.
The “Music for Royal Occasions” concert will travel to First Presbyterian Church in Orangeburg on Saturday, Jan. 26. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Orangeburg concert are $15 and also are available at www.tmgcharleston.com.