The King’s Singers to bring modern and classical acapella to Stephens


Courtesy of Rebecca Reid

The King Singers are Nick Ashby (baritone), Patrick Dunachie (countertenor), Christopher Bruerton (baritone), Edward Button (countertenor), Julian Gregory (tenor) and Jonathon Howard (bass).

Meg Grice

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and Stephen’s Auditorium has a time-honored a cappella act in store. The King’s Singers, founded across the pond, is making its way to Ames on Thursday.

The group was officially established in 1968 by six graduates of King’s College in Cambridge, England. Throughout their history as an acapella group, there have been the original six members and 20 replacements in total. As new voices have come and gone, the King’s Singers have never deviated from the 6-member structure.

The vocal range of the ensemble consists of two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones and bass voices. Performing a wide range of musical repertoire, these individuals stay true to their group’s origins while appealing to the music and composers of the modern age.

The King’s Singers have received many awards, including a nomination for best classical compendium at this year’s 61st Annual Grammy Awards show. 

The King’s Singers have performed in venues across the globe, including the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

The King’s Singers typical performance season consists of 120 to 130 shows, seven months of the year in various increments of time. Some are simply a day away from home while others are tours for a month. The group previously traveled to other states including Louisiana, Kansas and California. 

Christopher Bruerton, the ensemble’s first baritone, says the 50-year history of the group stands out the most to him.

“It’s something that sets it apart from most other groups-to have that longevity in the music industry,” Bruerton said. “So [the group] has found ways to keep reinventing itself and staying true to what it is.”

Bruerton says the group enjoys their time performing on stage, and the audiences join in the fun. Their concerts contain a slice of every genre and time period, he says, from Renaissance and Baroque music to chamber music and popular selections.

For their performance in Ames, the group is pulling out applicable-themed pieces for the holiday.

“Being Valentine’s Day, we’d thought we would celebrate that with the audience,” Bruerton said. “So we’ve got all sorts of songs that focus on love in different ways. Whether that’s the love to come-the future of a new relationship-or one that’s from long ago, a lost love or someone trying to find love.”

Bruerton emphasizes the mix of the classics and newer songs to their concert schedule. He and his fellow members are looking forward to performing at Iowa State.

“In today’s world, more than ever, we need to find ways to join together in song and find a better harmony,” Bruerton said. “The world is a divided place, and I think the more people sing together I think the world would be a lot different.

The King’s Singers perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. For those searching for a Valentine’s Day couple (or single) event, tickets are still available by calling 515-294-2479, visiting the ticket office or going to Tickets range from $30 to $50, and a pre-show dinner will be held at 6 p.m. The Iowa State Center has student tickets available now for $25. Rush tickets will go on sale Wednesday and Thursday for $10 with a student ID.