Judith and I moved to Charleston, South Carolina, ostensibly to be near to her family. I had visited the area with Judith back in May of 2013, and fell in love with the architecture, the history and the people. We decided to add a Southern choral ensemble to our stable of choirs and The King's Counterpoint was born. We held auditions in Charleston, with the generous help and assistance of Gregory Jones from Bethel United Methodist Church. A choir was formed and our first appearance was on a local radio station singing Christmas Carols in early December 2014. Following on from that there were two Carol Concerts, one at Bethel and one at Old St Andrew's Parish Church, adjacent to where we were living. These concerts were entitled Christmas Through The Ages and they followed the development of music for the Christmas season, covering around a thousand years of sacred music, from early plainsong up to the present day. The concerts were so successful that we repeat them, with new repertoire, every Christmas. Last December saw the fifth in the series, and they remain Free Entry, attracting huge audiences for each concert.
Since the choir's inception we have given 54 concerts and sung at several smaller fund-raising events. We have also visited England in 2016 and 2018 to sing at Wells Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, singing the weekly services during the respective Cathedral choir's annual Summer holidays. In 2021 The King's Counterpoint will again be visiting Canterbury Cathedral, and this time we will be joined by some members of our Cleveland choir, Contrapunctus Early Music. We are also in the middle of negotiating a concert at Buckfast Abbey for this same period, when we are hoping to reunite with members of Counterpoint, to stage a three-way sacred music choral concert!
The choir also appear each year at the Internationally acclaimed Piccolo Spoleto Festival, as part of the Early Music Series. This year we put on an old Counterpoint programme entitled, The Life and Times of Mary, Queen of Scots. The music traced the turbulent life of Mary, from her marriage to the Dauphin of France through to the harrowing end of her life. We gleaned a splendid review for the concert, which you can copy and then paste, to read what the local paper's reviewer had to say!
In August the choir will be recording the concert for an end of year release, and in the meantime there will be YouTube clips appearing at intervals, highlighting some of the pieces that we performed.
Next week read about my appointment as Director of Music at Old St Andrew's Parish Church!