Britain's Carice Singers have earned critical raves not only for their pure, youthful, vocal sound, but also for inventive programs of mostly British music that break new ground in the repertory while remaining logically and appealingly structured.
The Carice Singers were founded in 2011, jointly by many of the current members of the small choir and director George Parris, who had been friends since their late teens (just a few years before the choir came into existence). Parris studied at both Oxford, where he established its Elgar festival, and Cambridge, where he founded a song competition and was artistic director of the Sidney Sussex Arts Festival. He later became a stipendiary clerk with the Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford. The Carice Singers' name comes from that of Edward Elgar's daughter, who worked to perpetuate his legacy and, noted Parris in an interview with the Sir Arnold Bax website, "was a very interesting character, and her relationship with her father involved a lot of japes and fun, underneath which seemed to lie a deep sense of loyalty and commitment." The Carice Singers' first recording was devoted to unaccompanied choral works by Elgar.
The Singers have toured the U.K. and Ireland, often appearing in remote locales. This too, in addition to their orientation toward rarely performed works, speaks to an unusual historical consciousness, for British music was less centered on large cities a hundred years ago than it is now. The Carice Singers have been associated with the Naxos label and, as of 2017, had released four recordings that have drawn on new musicological research in their approaches. A 2014 recording surveyed the choral music of Peter Warlock and included a piece in the Cornish language. The Singers' next two albums each addressed the music of a pair of related, but contrasting composers, John Ireland and E.J. Moeran, and Frederick Delius and Arnold Bax, respectively. Critical acclaim for this rising choir has been rapturous, with Alexandra Coughlan of Gramophone writing that "of the newer British choirs currently emerging, few can match the Carice Singers for musicality and beauty of tone."