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Release: Feb. 14, 2002

King'singers, Famed British Sextet, Explores Aspects Of Love March 8

The king'singers, the famed British sextet that has been at the forefront of international vocal music for nearly 40 years, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, March 8 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

The concert program, "Love's Philosophy," includes compositions ranging from the ancient to the contemporary that treat various aspects of love -- "Devotions to the Virgin Mother," "Devotions to the Virgin Queen," "The Loving One," "Tainted Love," "The Innocence of Love" and "Chansons d'Amour," a sampling of love songs from around the world.

Among the composers whose work will be featured are Henryk Gorecki, Jean Sibelius, Carlo Gesualdo, John Tavener, Libby Larsen and Franz Schubert.

The king'singers took their name from King's College, Cambridge, where the ensemble's three founders were choral scholars.

"In 1965," according to the book "The King's Singers, a Self Portrait," "when they and other choral scholars decided to make a private recording of some of the most popular items in the fun repertoire, they chose the blatantly commercial group name of Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense. They made 100 pressings to distribute among friends.

"Six of the 14 scholars went on a singing tour… as 'Six Choral Scholars from King's College.' As a gesture towards professionalism, the group wore a special outfit, of which six pairs of sensible black shoes were the most impressive item: The wardrobe included corduroy jackets of interestingly different colours and cut, bow-ties whose patterns were incompatible but daring, and trousers that were matched in the sense that all were dark and all were baggy."

In 1968, faced with a London debut at the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the group came up with an official name, the King's Singers, which has more recently been collapsed into king'singers.

One by one, the original members of the group retired, but were replaced through rigorous procedures aimed at preserving the high musical standards that first brought fame to the group. The current members are countertenors Robin Tyson and David Hurley, tenor Paul Phoenix, baritones Gabriel Crouch and Philip Lawson, and bass Stephen Connolly.

Through the years the king'singers have released more than 40 recordings-- with a repertory ranging from ancient madrigals to the Beatles -- and have shared the stage with renowned artists ranging from Placido Domingo to Paul McCartney.

As one critic put it, "There are some who say that king'singers are the finest vocal ensemble in the world. I know that's not fair to the rest of them, but, hey, who am I to argue? They earn this moniker through the wide variety of music they perform so well."

The Sheraton Iowa City Hotel is the local corporate sponsor of the king'singers concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Tickets are $28, $26 and $23. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20 percent discount, with Zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 or younger are half price.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free,
1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:< >.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>. Visit the king'singers online at
< > or < >.