Counterpoint, Brittany 2009

Counterpoint, Brittany 2009

Dress rehearsal - James Bowman concert Sept 2004

Counterpoint was formed by David Acres in 1989, to perform a capella works with as much emotion and attention to word-painting as possible. Its activities and following have steadily grown since then, with it now being recognised as one of the leading choirs in the south-west.

The group has not felt confined to any specific style of composition, and it is not unusual for music covering eight centuries to be sung in one concert. From plainsong in the mid-1220s to a new composition written specifically for the group, Counterpoint strives to provide a vivid and intriguing catalogue of music at concerts.

As a result of this approach, the group has helped bring deserved recognition to several composers who are obscure and seldom heard in the south-west and in France, for example:

  • Padilla, Ugolini, Gombert, Isaac, Bassano and Ramsey (16th and 17th centuries)
  • Swayne, Grier, Pärt, Tavener, Lauridsen and Gabriel Jackson (20th and 21st centuries)
Rehearsal, Quimper, Brittany, France, 1992
After mass at Loctudy, Brittany, France, 2001

Counterpoint's singers are drawn largely from south and east Devon, with many coming from the Exeter Cathedral Choir and Exeter University.

The group usually comprises:

  • 12 sopranos
  • 6 counter-tenors
  • 6 tenors
  • 5 basses

but can fluctuate between 18 and 40 voices depending on the requirements of the occasion.

The group has evolved into a tight core of 24 particular voices who regularly sing together, resulting in the creation of a distinctive and sympathetic sound that is instantly recognisable.

Counterpoint's present and past activities include:

  • singing in about six concerts and liturgical services each year
  • an annual joint concert with James Bowman
  • making numerous CD recordings
  • providing the chorus for a performance of Haydn's Creation by Bournemouth Sinfonietta, conducted by Tamas Vasary
  • singing services in:
    • Bayeaux Cathedral
    • Buckfast Abbey
    • Caen Cathedral
    • Exeter Cathedral
    • Quimper Cathedral
    • Rouen Cathedral
    • Truro Cathedral
    • Winchester Cathedral
  • reaching the final stages of the Sainsbury's Choir of the Year competition, 1993
  • singing several times on local and national television and radio
  • frequently touring Normandy and Brittany to sing concerts and services in churches, chapels and cathedrals

Just before a concert at Buckfast Abbey, 1999