VOCES8 is an a cappella octet from the United Kingdom.
Formed in 2005, VOCES8 has a diverse repertoire ranging from early English and European Renaissance choral works to their own arrangements. They came up with the name en route to a competition. Paul Smith (one of the founding members) said, "We needed a name to go on stage and there were eight of us and we were in Italy. We wanted something that feels like voices but had that Latin vibe to it, so we went with voces."
The group is signed to the Decca Classics label. The first Decca album is 'Eventide' which was released in February 2014. Prior to the recording contract with Decca, the ensemble recorded seven albums:"A Purcell Collection" (2013) "Christmas" (2012); Choral Tapestry (2011); The Bach Motets (2010); Aces High (2010); Evensong (2008); From Gibbons to Gershwin (2007). The most recent recordings are on the Signum label.
VOCES8 tours the world; in 2017 it sang in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, and other European countries. In recent seasons VOCES8 has performed at the Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cite de la Musique Paris, Tokyo Opera City, National Concert Hall Taipei, National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, Shanghai Concert Hall, Tel Aviv Opera House and Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. Highlights of the 2014/2015 season included performances at Bozar Brussels, Lund Festival, Berliner Dom, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Canterbury Festival, 3 Choirs Festival, Moscow International House of Music, the ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, return visits to Tokyo Opera City, Wigmore Hall, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, La Folle Journée France, and a debut tour of Canada.
Artistic collaborations have included the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, period ensemble Les Inventions, violinist Hugo Ticciati and cellist Matthew Sharp. In the 2015/16 season, the group's composer in residence is Ola Gjeilo, alongside Jim Clements as principal music arranger. Previous commissions were from Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry, and Thomas Hewitt Jones.
Andrea Haines (1. soprano)
Emily Dickens (2. soprano)
Chris Wardle (1. counter-tenor)
Barnaby Smith (2. counter-tenor)
Blake Morgan (1. tenor)
Sam Dressel (2. tenor)
Rob Clark (baritone)
Jonathan Pacey (bass)
One of the band's original members Paul Smith gives educational outreach programs to approximately 40,000 students per year. He wrote a book called "The VOCES8 Method" which is used by approximately 3500 schools. Education partners in the UK include:
Grey Coat Hospital Foundation
St Benedict's School, Ealing
The John Lyon School
Hackney Learning Trust
Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (THAMES)
Slough Music Service
INECC Mission Voix Lorraine
VOCES8 has received support from Arts Council England, the Musicians Benevolent Fund and the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
VOCES8 turned professional in 2007. The current line up of VOCES8 contains two of these original members. Past members include:
Rachel Major, soprano
Catherine Backhouse, soprano
Robin Bailey, tenor
Charles MacDougall, tenor
Robert Smith, tenor
Dingle Yandell, bass
Oliver Vincent, tenor
Paul Smith, baritone