Counterpoint was formed by David Acres in 1989 to perform a capella works with as much emotion and attention to word-painting as possible. The group's activities and their following have steadily grown since then, with it now being recognised as one of the leading choirs in the south-west of England.
Who is Counterpoint?
Counterpoint has not felt confined to any specific style of composition, and it is not unusual for music covering eight centuries to be sung in one concert. From plainsong in the mid-1220s to a new composition written specifically for the group, Counterpoint strives to provide a vivid and intriguing catalogue of music at concerts.
As a result of this approach, the group has helped bring deserved recognition to several composers who are obscure and seldom heard in the south-west of England and in France. For example, works by -
Padilla, Ugolini, Gombert, Isaac, Bassano and Ramsey (16th and 17th centuries)
Swayne, Grier, Pärt, Tavener, Lauridsen and Gabriel Jackson (20th and 21st centuries)
Counterpoint's singers are drawn largely from south and east Devon, with many coming from the Exeter Cathedral Choir and Exeter University. The group most commonly consists of 12 sopranos, 6 counter-tenors, 6 tenors, and 5 basses, but can fluctuate between 18 and 40 voices depending on the requirements of the occasion.
The group has evolved into a tight core of voices who regularly sing together, resulting in the creation of a distinctive and sympathetic sound that is instantly recognisable.
Counterpoint's present and past activities are numerous and varied, and include singing in about six concerts and liturgical services each year, an annual joint concert with James Bowman, the making of numerous CD recordings, and providing the chorus for a performance of Haydn's Creation by Bournemouth Sinfonietta, conducted by Tamas Vasary. Counterpoint has provided singing services in Bayeaux Cathedral, Buckfast Abbey, Caen Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral, Quimper Cathedral, Rouen Cathedral, Truro Cathedral, and Winchester Cathedral. In 1993 they reached the final stages of the Sainsbury's Choir of the Year competition. They have appeared several times on local and national television and radio, and frequently tour Normandy and Brittany, singing concerts and services in churches, chapels and cathedrals.