Uniquely among choral groups, Albion is dedicated to the exploration and performance of the songs of the British Isles. The islands' musical heritage stretches back a thousand years, offering a rich store of treasures: dances, folksongs, madrigals, plainsong chants, airs, anthems, and more. In their variety and beauty, they lie at the heart of Albion's inspiration.
Many of the songs are hundreds of years old, but in Fraser Wilson's arrangements they are reclothed in lush contemporary colours. Working with up to twelve singers at a time, Albion performs mostly unaccompanied, allowing the purity of the human voice to sound across the centuries. The group is known for a fresh sound and vibrant energy, and for warm, wholehearted music-making.
Often we are asked for a setlist, a list of all the songs we've sung at a particular performance. Every programme is different, as we tailor our choices to the space we're singing in, the audience, the occasion, the time of year, and so on. Our music ranges from ancient plainsong to folksongs, from national anthems to airs. Sometimes we work with other instruments, most often piano, organ, and strings.
There are some pieces that will often be heard at an ALBION performance, music that particularly resonates with us and our audiences: the Skye Boat Song, Jerusalem, the Blue Bird, and so on. While you won't always hear your favourite pieces at a concert of ours, you might find it on one of our records. Do feel free to request particular pieces in advance of a performance, and we'll include it if we possibly can!
We are always happy to talk about our music and hear from those who want to know more, or even to suggest a new song or text that we've not yet discovered.
Copies of Albion repertoire
Copies of the music sung by Albion, all of which is composed or arranged by Fraser Wilson, are available. We toyed with an online shop, but it proved pretty fiddly to operate, so we've settled into a happy arrangement whereby people email me and I send PDFs straight back to them, with payment by BACS transfer, PayPal, or cheque.
There's a nominal rate of £1 per copy, but I'm always happy to discuss large orders or special circumstances, so do get in touch. Really, we all just want this music to be performed and enjoyed!
Keeping in touch with us
People on the ALBIONMAIL list get to hear before anyone else about forthcoming ALBION appearances and can reserve tickets simply by hitting 'Reply'. ALBIONMAIL is, we think, amongst the very quickest and easiest ways to stay in touch with us and our future plans. And we even promise not to harrass you with news about fake iPads or special pills you can buy "oh so cheap" that arrive in a plain envelope. To join the list, just follow this quick'n'easy link.
And to contact us - we love to hear from people about anything and everything - visit this page.
We are proud to be part of Classical Sheffield, the city's network of classical music and musicians. (Though we are quick to point out that our music cannot be pigeonholed into a particular genre!!)
Through CS, we engage in ticket- and audience-sharing initiatives, work and network with partners, reach new people, share ideas and experiences, and are part of something much bigger than ourselves. Something we're very proud of!
Classical Sheffield does a better job of explaining itself than we can, so go and have a look.