One of the world’s most versatile and best-loved singing groups, British vocal ensemble VOCES8, will make their Michigan debut on February 20, in a concert sponsored by the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society and Kalamazoo Central High School.

Our tradition of bringing the very best in choral music to Southwest Michigan is outstanding, and we know you’re going to love Voces8,” said Bach Festival Music Director James Turner.

The concert on February 20, 7:30 pm, at Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium, entitled “Underneath the Stars,” will include pieces by Byrd, Gabrieli, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff in the first half. The second half features arrangements by Marvin Hamlisch, Duke Ellington, Nat ‘King’ Cole, the Mamas and the Papas, and others. In describing this concert, Voces8 members said “Warmth, radiance, guidance and comfort: from the pale glow of moon or starlight to the blaze of summer sun, light has always been a symbol for our most basic human needs, both physical and spiritual. Composers of the Renaissance era would of course draw on sacred texts, where light is often closely linked to hope, security and salvation, and our more contemporary offerings follow in that tradition. Even those pieces which do not explicitly reference light still hint at the solace which it provides. There is for us something inherently comforting about the sound of unaccompanied voices in harmony, and if this program shows one thing it is that composers across the ages have felt the same way.”

The ensemble leads an innovative series of music education workshops reaching 20,000 people annually around the world with the aim of inspiring creativity and excellence through music. While visiting Kalamazoo, Voces8 will hold a master class for a cappella groups from Kalamazoo College, Western Michigan University, Loy Norrix High School and Kalamazoo Central High School. The master class will take place at Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium on February 20, and is free and open to the public. Call the BachFestival office for full details.

Tickets for this concert are $25 / $20 for adults, and $5 for students, with special rates available for groups of 10 or more adults or students. They can be purchased by calling the Bach Festival office at 269-337-7407 or online at www.KalamazooBachFestival.org.