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A Choral Workshop with James Weeks - 10 December 2016

York Cemetery Chapel
On Saturday 10 December, 41 keen singers joined together at York Cemetery Chapel, as part of York Early Music Christmas Festival, for a practical choral workshop with James Weeks. Participants were guided through an exploration of Heinrich Schütz's great collection Geistliche Chor-Musik (1648), which contains some of his most memorable and profound music. Meditating on the seasons of the church year and the tenets of Lutheran faith in 29 motets in 5, 6 and 7 parts, these works were intended as a guiding example to Schütz's fellow German composers and a monument to the power of music. Over the course of the day, James led singers through some of the most brilliant works, from the joyous Christmas motet Ein Kind ist uns geboren to the sublime pathos of Selig sind die Toten

James Weeks is a composer and conductor with wide ranging interests encompassing both early and contemporary music. His early music interests cover the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early Baroque (Machaut, Ars subtilior, the 16thC Italian madrigal, Monteverdi and Schütz) and he has directed this repertoire regularly with his acclaimed ensemble EXAUDI.

Participants said of their experience:
  • "I thought the repertoire was excellent and showed the variety of Schultz`s choral music"
  • "I really enjoyed singing in such a beautiful space; I really loved the building and the effect of the light through the beautiful windows very moving, especially as dusk fell"
  • "The workshop itself was very well delivered because we managed to sing so many pieces in the time available and they were all so beautiful"
  • "James had an easy manner with was a delight to work with him"