Choir of the Year award

We are delighted to have been awarded Choir of the Year at the Classical Music Digital Awards. Thank you to all those who nominated us – we are so grateful for your support.

It was wonderful to see so many fantastic projects recognised. Congratulations to all those who won awards or were highly commended for their innovation and perseverance during 2020.

The Classical Music Digital Awards 2020 by David Taylor are a celebration of those musicians, ensembles, orchestras, and projects who have embraced digital during 2020 and kept the music playing.

Hats off to David Taylor and the team for putting them together.

Find out more about the awards

A look back at 2020

2020 was a strange year. Our aim was to find opportunities amid the uncertainty, improving our singing and working with other artists to revel in a newfound spirit of collaboration.

We have all chosen our standout moments from this year, starting in the Australian summer…

Josh: Australia Tour

My favourite moment of this year was our tour to Australia back in February. Each of the cities we performed in were amazing places and the reception we had from people was incredible. Particular highlights included: Teaming up with two other local choirs to sing Spem in Alium, performing in UKARIA’s amazing concert hall, and, a personal favourite of mine, getting over jet-lag by relaxing by the rooftop pool in our first hotel. We now know that we were incredibly lucky to visit before lockdown – hopefully our plans to tour there again can be realised soon!

Read more about our visit to Australia

Team photo in Perth

Isolation Creation

Our creative online output during lockdown fell under the Isolation Creation umbrella. Here are some of our highlights from this series.

We collaborated on two lockdown projects with the choristers of Truro Cathedral

Owain: our third disc, Fading

It seems like another world when we launched our third album back in March. That was the final concert we gave before everything was turned upside down. The tour we had planned around the UK to celebrate the disc had to be cancelled, and we were disappointed not to be able to share this programme with audiences.

Imagine our delight when, in November, we learned that Fading was awarded Vocal Recording of the Year by Limelight! We enjoyed singing some of the pieces as part of Live from London in August and look forward to performing this programme in the future.

Read more about the Limelight awards

Guy: the return to work

My favourite moment of 2020 was the day we were all able to meet again after the first lockdown. In June we met in a park near King’s Cross ahead of our first rehearsal in months and it was such a pleasure to see everyone again and experience that first sliver of normality. Singing together that day made me feel like we were going to be able to work safely again in 2020 and everything we’ve managed to achieve since then has stemmed from that moment.

Our first rehearsal back, at Peregrine’s Pianos in London

Andrew: JAM on the Marsh

A major highlight of this year for me was performing at JAM on the Marsh. We gave two online concerts in St Leonard’s Church, Hythe. As well as the thoroughly enjoyable music-making that week, it was great to have the boys in my home county of Kent. The weather was fantastic, and much cricket, beach time, and merriment was shared.

Find out more about JAM on the Marsh

Preparing for our Passion and Polyphony concert

Joseph: Choral Evensong on BBC Radio 3

This was a new one for us as a group, though strangely familiar: many of us grew up immersed in the tradition of which Choral Evensong is an integral part. We commissioned a new psalm chant from Kerensa Briggs for the broadcast, also giving the world premiere of Owain Park’s Night Prayer alongside music by Byrd, Tavener and Piers Kennedy. It was a distinct honour and privilege to be among the first people to sing a live broadcast of the service for the BBC after the first national lockdown; a series which helped pave the way for the rightful return of our church and cathedral choirs to the airwaves.

Live in five! A photo taken just before we take to the air on BBC Radio 3.

Mike: London Sound Gallery

Our first go at running a festival, London Sound Gallery really stood out for me: two frenetic days in the summer experiencing some amazing live concerts, and then the joy of sharing them with an audience at home. I was watching highlights from The Hermes Experiment this morning and I had such a pang of nostalgia for what was a really amazing series.

Find out more about London Sound Gallery

We join Helen Charlston and Toby Carr for a performance of Monteverdi’s Lamento della ninfa

In the spirit of collaboration…

…where to be-gin? We teamed up with trumpeter Matilda Lloyd to perform James Macmillan’s In Splendoribus Sanctorum, a fantastically atmospheric work, as part of our Isolation Creation series. Not only was it delightful to work with Matilda virtually, but in October we were able to perform two concerts in London, featuring the world premiere of Richard Barnard’s Aura, which we co-commissioned this year.

During the first UK lockdown, we found ourselves glued to our screens as Héloïse Werner captured our imaginations with her coronasolfège videos. We thought it would be fun to try it out for ourselves – amazingly, Héloïse thought so too and so we commissioned coronasolfège for 6, which we are delighted to present as a video.

Sam: a return to live concerts

Our concerts at Snape Maltings remains a great moment for me. I remember the weather being torrential that day, but the sense of excitement was so high as concerts were now a bit of rarity. Singing in that incredible venue (for the first time in my case) in those times was really special.

Taken during our concert at Snape Maltings

Thank you for sharing these memories with us. Let us know your favourite moment of 2020 on social media!

Isolation Creation

2020 has been a strange year. We have tried to find opportunities amid the uncertainty, with our creative online output under lockdown falling under the Isolation Creation umbrella. Here are some of our highlights from this series.

Truro Cathedral Choristers

Despite not being able to visit Cornwall to work with the choristers of Truro Cathedral as planned, we collaborated on two lockdown video projects, both of which were premiered on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast by Petroc Trelawny.

Our thanks to Josh who put the audio together and Owain who edited the huge video file that resulted from our first-ever double choir performance: Sir John Tavener’s Hymn to the Mother of God.

Our second video was Hosanna to the Song of David by Orlando Gibbons, kindly supported by Angel Early Music.

Night Prayer

Our first video created in isolation was a new work by our director, Owain Park, written specifically for groups unable to meet together to sing. Night Prayer sets the latin hymn ‘Te lucis ante terminum’, a text that has often opened our live concerts.

Collaboration with Matilda Lloyd

One of the highlights of 2019 was our Radiant Dawn collaboration with our friend, the fantastic trumpeter Matilda Lloyd. We came together to perform James Macmillan’s In Splendoribus Sanctorum, a fantastically atmospheric work, as part of our Isolation Creation series.

Not only was it delightful to work with Matilda virtually, but in October we were able to perform two concerts in London, featuring the world premiere of Richard Barnard’s Aura, co-commissioned by the artists in 2020.

Coronasolfege

During the first UK lockdown, we found ourselves glued to our screens as Héloïse Werner captured our imaginations with her coronasolfège videos. We thought it would be fun to try it out for ourselves – amazingly, Héloïse thought so too and so we commissioned coronasolfège for 6, which we are delighted to present as a video.

Sing with G6

For our first #singwithG6, we chose one of our favourite pieces, a sacred motet by Josef Rheinberger which the composer first penned in 1855 at the age of 15. It is perhaps his most famous choral work, which looks backward to the great sacred music of the Renaissance.

Read more about our first #singwithG6 project

Happy Birthday Sam!

Today marks a significant day in the life of our bass, Sam Mitchell, as he turns 30! To celebrate this glorious achievement, we share a few of our favourite memories (and some sent in by his parents).

Early Years: When I grow up, I’m going to be a Pirate

A few singing lessons later…

It is remarkable what difference a few years (and some vocal tuition) makes! Here is Sam singing ‘How beautiful are the feet’ from Messiah by G. F. Handel while a chorister at Lincoln Cathedral in the early 2000s.

2015 – Sam signs on

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining G6. Since they started making a name for themselves last year I’ve always been struck by the incredible amount of character, flair and dynamism in their performances. I can’t wait until the first rehearsal!”

Sam‘s first day at work

Read our post on Sam’s appointment

Favourite moments

English Motets concert for CantaBO

We have recorded a concert for Festival CantaBO featuring our English Motets programme.

Were due to perform a concert Bologna in November 2020, but sadly we were unable travel due to restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Instead, we recorded our concert in Tooting in South London in glorious 4K, which the festival have made available with complimentary online access from 26 December until 12 January on the CantaBO website.

By subscribing to this concert you will receive the link to watch the video and to download the programme, in PDF format, with all the scores of the pieces performed.

English Motets

Programme

Afflicti pro Peccati – Byrd
O Nata Lux – Thomas Tallis
In Pace – Christopher Tye
If Ye Love Me – Tallis
Christe, Qui Lux es et Dies – Robert White
When David Heard – Thomas Tomkins
Tota Pulchra Es – John Plummer
Laudate Pueri Dominum – Byrd

BBC Radio 3 Christmas broadcast

You can now listen again to our broadcast of seasonal music from the 35th Christmas Festival at St John’s Smith Square. For centuries, Christmas and the surrounding seasons have inspired composers to new heights of invention. This programme reaches across the ages, from the eternal beauty of the Tudor church right up to the twenty-first century, with each piece chosen to evoke a sense of mystery and joy. Featuring works by Orlande de Lassus, Michael Praetorius, Judith Bingham and Sally Beamish.

Listen again via the BBC website

Download programme notes

coronasolfège for 6

Earlier this year, we found ourselves glued to our screens as Héloïse Werner captured our imaginations with her coronasolfège videos. We thought it would be fun to try it out for ourselves – amazingly, Héloïse thought so too and so we commissioned coronasolfège for 6, which we are now delighted to present as a video.

Composer’s Note

Coronasolfege was born at the start of lockdown in March 2020. Just like every other musician in the world, all my performances suddenly got cancelled and I was stuck at home with nothing to do. I needed to find something to keep myself occupied. I started experimenting with creating rhythms and short melodies only using my face (eyes, teeth, voice) and my hands (on my cheeks). I came up with a simple 30-second composition where my eyes, teeth, voice and hands each go in different but repeated rhythms: eyes in crotchets, teeth in quavers, voice in triplets and hands in semiquavers. I filmed it, posted it on Twitter and Coronasolfege was born.

Creating these Coronasolfege videos gave me a sense of purpose – each one was like a mini challenge. My main goal with them was to cheer people up so each video is upbeat and sometimes funny. Alongside the rhythmic games and melodic earworms, I also enjoyed creating comical characters using world-plays and props.

This project has been a lovely way to be socially engaged with people from all over the world during the difficult periods of isolation. I wrote this new piece for this wonderful ensemble – I hope you enjoy the result…

Behind the scenes during coronasolfège for 6 filming
Listen to our first podcast episode, which features an interview with Héloïse Werner

Find out more about Héloïse Werner

12 Days of Christmas

We are delighted to be partnering with Ryedale Festival, Echo Vocal Ensemble and The Swan Consort to produce the ‘12 Days of Christmas’.

Give the gift of a Choral Christmas to your loved ones this year from three of the UK’s brightest choral ensembles.

Filmed in the splendour of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, 12 Days of Christmas delivers a seasonal musical offering to the recipient’s email inbox every day from 25th December to 6th January.

With options for bespoke gift packages or eco-friendly digital delivery, 12 Days of Christmas is the perfect present for your music-loving friends and family wherever they may be during the festive season.

Presented in association with Ryedale Festival and with grateful thanks to Tidze.

Advent Sessions

From Darkness to Light

The Gesualdo Six present a series of short recitals for the season of Advent, recorded in the stunning Boxgrove Priory.

Ticket holders will be able to watch each recital on demand from the date of broadcast until 6 January 2021.

i. I look from afar (Sunday 29 November)

Music by Palestrina, Lassus and Eccard.

ii. In Mary’s Love (Sunday 6 December)

Music by Hildegard, Bingham and Palestrina.

iii. Nun Komm, der Heiden Heiland (Sunday 13 December)

Works by Praetorius and Cheryl Frances-Hoad alongside a plainchant setting of the Advent hymn, Veni redemptor gentium.

iv. Veni Emmanuel (Sunday 20 December)

Works by Byrd and Adrian Peacock alongside the traditional Advent hymn, Veni Emmanuel.

#AdventSessions


Purchase a copy of our Christmas album.