A Member of Firebird Arts Alliance


Charlotte choir presents rarely performed musical masterpiece for 8 choirs to launch its series of rarely performed CHORAL MASTERWORKS.

Charlotte, NC - May 11, 2015 - In what may be a Charlotte premiere, the semi-professional choir VOX will perform the 40-part motet Spem in alium, by British Renaissance composer – Thomas Tallis.  8 choirs of 5 parts each surround the listener in a sonic experience that can only be experienced live.

The monumental motet is almost never heard because of its logistical and musical challenges.  Other leading choral musicians will supplement VOX’s 30 in order to fill out all 40 parts, most to be sung with one singer per part.

Spem in alium is the featured piece in the first of a new concert series by VOX – CHORAL MASTERWORKS – that will present masterpieces of the choral repertoire, some rarely heard and even some for the first time.

“In every performing art, certain seminal, cornerstone works rarely get performed because they present significant if not insurmountable challenges,” says VOX director, David Tang. 

VOX believes that Charlotte should have the opportunity to hear some of choral music’s infrequently heard masterpieces, live in performance.”

Spem in alium poses massive logistical and musical challenges rehearsing 40 different parts.  “It is scientifically impossible for any human to keep track of 40 different musical lines at the same time,” says VOX Director David Tang, “so rehearsing the work is extremely difficult.  The musical score is so massive that singers must use “part books” that include only two of the eight, 5-part choirs, so it’s extremely difficult for singers to keep their place in the music.  Ironically, in order to learn the 425 year-old piece, we have had to apply some 20th century technology to help.”

Spem in alium is joined by another cornerstone of the Renaissance choral repertoire - Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere, which was deemed so beautiful that it was banned from performance outside of the Vatican until a precocious Mozart transcribed it from memory.

Audiences will also experience the rarely performed O Tod, wie bitter bist du, Op. 110, No. 3 by Max Reger, as well as American works In Paradisum by Edwin Fissinger and Samuel Barber’s own choral setting of his best-known work – Adagio for Strings.

The performance will take place on Sunday, June 14 at 4pm at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church:  1510 East 7th Street in Charlotte.

Tickets are available at the door:  $20/general admission or $10/students and seniors

OR at http://choralmasterworks.eventzilla.net:  $15/general admission and $10/students and seniors

For media and additional information contact:

DAVID TANG:  Director, Firebird Arts Alliance and VOX
David.Tang@sharonpcusa.org / 704 553-0869 / 5201 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC  28210