Two-time Grammy winners take Kean on musical journey

By Yuri Smishkewych | Posted on November 2015

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On the British ensemble’s second visit to Kean’s Enlow Recital Hall, The King’s Singers took the audience on a transatlantic vocal journey that included folklore from the Sans people of South Africa, letters of love and longing from England, Ireland and Continental Europe, and jubilant praise from the American South.

“We always love coming here [Enlow Hall],” said baritone Christopher Breurton of the acapella sextet at a meet-and-greet after the show. “The place has natural bloom, its acoustics, it’s chamber musician-friendly and intimate.”

The concert, entitled the “Great American Songbook” featured American popular songs from the middle and latter half of the past century alongside traditional Gospel arrangements, including “Get Happy,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and a rendition of “At Last” that would’ve made Etta James smile with delight.

One audience member oohed and awed in between sets, no doubt astonished by the ensemble’s mastery in vocal modulations and impeccable timing. For instance, in John McCabe’s “From ‘Cartography’” the group’s voices created a sort of lyrical map of England: soothing legato for the rolling hills and hedgerows; and sharp, rugged staccatos for the highlands once passed Hadrian’s Wall.

“They’re absolutely marvelous,” said audience member Julius Gotilla. “They make what’s so complex seem effortless.”

The King’s Singers: Great American Songbook was the fourth concert held at the Enlow Recital Hall, located in the Nathan Weiss Graduate College on Kean’s East Campus, of the 2015-16 season.

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