Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
The Choir of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, is one of Britain's most active and versatile collegiate choral groups. The choir performs often, tours widely, and has recorded a large catalog of albums. It has also spawned successful offshoots: the Gonville Girls, the Caius Men (both featuring a cappella pop and jazz vocal arrangements), and the small vocal-instrumental Caius Consort. Comprising 24 singers (young adults, mixed genders) and two organists, the Choir of Gonville and Caius College traces its origins to the late 19th century, when the composer Henry Wood was its first director -- or, to use the choir's own terminology, Precentor. The current Precentor is Geoffrey Webber, a musicologist specializing in Dietrich Buxtehude and one of the figures responsible for enlarging the choir's repertory far beyond the usual a cappella Renaissance choral music and Romantic and contemporary compositions of similar texture. A glance at the choir's recordings reveals composers as diverse as Joseph Rheinberger, Leonardo Leo, and Judith Weir, as well as plainchant and collections of choral music from Switzerland and Brazil. The choir sings five times a week, including at three chapel services and at six annual College Feasts, at Gonville and Caius College. They mount tours of Britain and beyond several times a year, and have performed as far afield as Bogotá, Colombia and Hong Kong. Their recordings and performances have both explored forgotten repertories from the musical past and championed contemporary composers such as Weir, Robin Holloway, and Cheryl Frances-Hoad. The choir began recording for the ASV label in 1995 with the rare Puccini Requiem mass and Janáček's Mass in E flat major. The group has also recorded extensively for the Delphian label, releasing up to three albums annually in the 2010s. The Choir of Gonville and Caius College issued an album of choral music by Julian Anderson on Delphian in 2018. ~ James Manheim
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