English choir infuses early music with emotional punch
Sunday, October 03, 2010
By Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Anyone who has ever sung in a choir, from school to church to
professional, knows the tinge of fear and bubbling of excitement
that comes when the conductor first raises those hands for the
entrance cue. Will everyone come in at the same time?
Now imagine that without the conductor.
What would be major trouble for most choirs is an asset for
Stile Antico. From its inception in 2001 at Cambridge University in
England, the early-music choir has never had a director.
“We wanted to do something different, but also we felt that
without a conductor each of us would take responsibility for
creating all the colors and breathing,” says founding member and
alto Carris Jones. “Our musicality is something that we all have a
say in. It also allows us to be spontaneous. If one person decides
to change a tone color even a little, it can have a ripple effect
throughout the group. That is really special and keeps it