I was very happy indeed to make the journey down to Manchester again over the weekend of - a choir as good as Kantos is worth the coach journey! I met Kantos and conductor Ellie Slorach through their recording and subsequent performance of my 'Brightest and Best' for The Silver Stars at Play CD of contemporary carols. They gave a stunning performance of American (+ Tippett) choral works including Copland's In the Beginning, Whitacre's When David Heard, songs by William Billings, and two works by me. With soloist Sarah Keirle they performed my arrangement of Oh Shenandoah, and also premiered a new setting of Rough Country, with words by California poet laureate Dana Gioia.
Rough Country is the third of a set of three settings of Gioia's stunning poems, which I'm looking forward to making fully available for purchase soon. I have set his work before but not since my University of Southern California days, so it's been a very enjoyable homecoming working with his texts again. You can hear the piece here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLlGTecQBfI