Houston Chamber Choir and Treble Choir of Houston release CD of composer Bob Chilcott’s Circlesong on British Label Signum Records

The Grammy® Award-winning Houston Chamber Choir and the award-winning Treble Choir of Houston’s new recording of British Bob Chilcott’s Circlesong for Signum Records, is now available. Artistic Director Robert Simpson conducts the Houston Chamber Choir in this groundbreaking work by one of England’s most renowned composers, along with Marianna Parnas Simpson leading the Treble Choir.

Photo Caption: The Grammy® Award-winning Houston Chamber Choir and the Treble Choir of Houston’s new recording of British Bob Chilcott’s Circlesong for Signum Records, will be released Jan. 21. Photo credit: Houston Chamber Choir photos by Jeff Grass Photography

This is the first Houston Chamber Choir album released since the 2019 Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, which won a Grammy® for “Best Choral Performance” in January 2020 and was also released on Signum Classics. The record company is one of the United Kingdom’s leading independent classical labels and home to diverse and eclectic repertoire by some of the finest artists and singers from around the world.

A work filled with ambition, Circlesong is a musical portrayal of the human life cycle as captured in the indigenous poetry of North America. Based on poetry from the Chinook, Comanche, Dakota, Inuit, Iroquois, Kwakiutl, Navaho, Ojibwa, Pueblo, Seminole, Sioux and Yaqui traditions, the 13 movements in seven parts mark the different stages of life, from birth and childhood to adulthood, middle age and death. Circlesong is a work of impressive drama, variety and depth, which was performed in Houston by the Houston Chamber Choir in February 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic effectively closed live performances.

“It was a great honor for the Houston Chamber Choir to be selected by a composer of Bob Chilcott’s stature to record this extraordinary piece,” says Simpson. “His music gives voice to the words and wisdom of Native American peoples with deep understanding and respect. On a personal level, I was thrilled to have the chance to collaborate with my wife, Marianna Parnas-Simpson, and her remarkable Treble Choir of Houston at Christ Church Cathedral.”

The Houston Chamber Choir has established itself as one of the premier professional choirs in the United States, serving Houston through concerts and educational initiatives that enlighten, entertain, and educate people of all ages and has been described by author and filmmaker Jamie Bernstein as “the choral equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters. Everyone is a virtuoso.” The Choir is comprised of 24 professional singers, most of whom have studied at the top music schools and conservatories in the United States including Juilliard, New England Conservatory, University of Houston, and University of Texas.

The Treble Choir of Houston, founded in 2006 at Christ Church Cathedral, is an acclaimed ensemble of young women, grades 6-12, that provides outstanding musical training in a nurturing environment. Coming from widely diverse backgrounds, these young women are united in their pursuit of musical excellence. The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Circlesong Track Listing:

1 Beauty Before Me / We Wait In Darkness

Part I, Birth
2 Song for Bringing a Child into the World
3 Newborn

Part II, Childhood
4 Yaqui Song
5 A Child’s Song
6 Give Me Strength

Part III, Lover
7 Chinook Songs
8 Over the Wave

Part IV, Adulthood
9 Summer Song

Part V, Middle Age
10 O Great Spirit

Part VI, Old Age
11 In the House Made of Dawn

Part VII, Death
12 Farewell, My Brother
13 The Sun’s Beams are Running Out / We Wait in the Darkness14 Like a Rainbow
15 All Things Pass
16 Circles of Motion
17 Walking the Red Road

For more information about the Circlesong album and to purchase a CD, please visit our homepage at HoustonChamberChoir.org and click on the “order your copy!” tab. The work will also be available on all major music platforms.