THE STARLING OCTET
The Starling Octet is a mixed a cappella octet, singing a wide range of repertoire from the sixteenth century to the present day.
H I S T O R Y
The Starling Octet was formed to bring together singers from the University and beyond, all with a love of making choral music. We aim to breathe life into some of the most beautiful and lesser-known choral works in the repertoire, from the sixteenth century to the present day. We rehearse regularly at the University of Exeter and often perform one-to-a-part.
The Octet's début recital was in 2011 as part of the University of Exeter Arts Week and this was followed by a performance at Rougemont Castle for the Exeter Classical Music Event. We then went on to produce a successful candle-lit Armistice Day concert in Pinhoe Church, featuring the beautiful Howells' Requiem, and in the following spring we put on a concert of Renaissance polyphony in Broadclyst Church, featuring works by Lassus, Weelkes, Sheppard, Tallis, Palestrina and other masters of the era.
Our fourth concert programme focussed on works by German composers of the Romantic period, singing a range of double choir pieces by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Rheinberger and we then completed a summer programme of Italian madrigals, featuring Lauridsen's stunning Madrigali.
We have sung Rachmaninov's Vespers, returning to the theme of Remembrance, and last summer we put on 'A Modern Mass', which featured each movement of the traditional mass set to music by a different 20th century composer. We started 2015 with a programme of French music old and new, which we performed again in July.
More recently, we have sung a programme of English works through the ages, culminating in the evocative Shakespeare Songs by Ralph Vaughan-Williams. Thereafter, we looked again to more contemporary music, with a focus on the modern composers Ola Gjeilo and Paul Mealor, who came to fame by composing Ubi Caritas for the Royal Wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William.
P A S T M E M B E R S
The Starling Octet has undergone various changes in its members over the years, and we would like to thank all past members for their contribution to the group.