His Majestie's Clerkes is a professional male vocal ensemble specialising in 15th to 17th century unaccompanied music as well as modern works and commissions. For this their debut concert, the five-man ensemble will perform early and modern music drawn from the rich repertoire dedicated to Our Lady, as well as from the biblical Song of Songs. The music performed will range from the early 16th century, typified by the work of Josquin des Prez, the master composer of the High Renaissance, to the British 21st century composer Howard Skempton with his beautiful minimalist setting of words from the Song of Songs. Also heard will be music by Nicolas Gombert and William Blitheman, two composers of the mid sixteenth century. British composer Ivan Moody's Latin setting of four texts from the Song of Songs completes the program.
The ensemble is under the overall artistic direction of Richard Childress, a Chicago area native who is now a professional countertenor based in Great Britain. He was the founder of the original Chicago ensemble His Majestie's Clerkes, which subsequently became the choir "Bella Voce".
The five men sing countertenor, tenor and bass, a voicing which enables the group to come close to the sound and performing pitch of early vocal music. The singers come together from Chicago, Great Britain and New York, their voices chosen to produce a rich, smooth and superlative sound which, when combined with the beauty of Chicago's historic St John Cantius Church, will be an unmissable event.
Richard Childress & Charles Humphries, countertenors
Nathaniel Adams & Matthew Dean, tenors
Michael Hawes & Jay Tuttle, basses