The Kenneth G. Mills Foundation

Location:

P.O. Box 790TorontoOntarioM4Y 2N7Canada View Map

Phone:

(416) 410-0453

Fax:

(905) 951-9712
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Description:

In 1976, Kenneth G. Mills founded what became the unique vocal group The Star-Scape Singers. His vision for the group was clear and concise. Said Maestro Mills, "My great interest in tonal palettes was an impetus to exploring the sphere of voices set free. Indeed this 10-voice choir was unlike anything else ever heard. After one of seven con­certs at Carnegie Hall, the New York Times critic Tim Page wrote: "this is a flawless, superbly trained ensemble. Collectively, the 10 solo voices make up an instrument of bright and extraordinary varied capacity. They function as one - singing with piercing purity, without vibrato, and in flawless pitch." Liza Minelli named them "the greatest singing group in the world. Premier record producer Phil Ramone remarked, "Whenever I hear the music of Star-Scape, it brings me a feeling of tremendous serenity as well as an emotional high! Vocalist Melissa Manchester exclaimed: "Incredible! This is absolutely luminous music. It is like a shaft of light breaking through the clouds." Star-Scape's accomplishment has been described as "a twentieth-century renaissance in choral sound. What made this orchestra of voices so unusual? Perhaps it was the open voices, which released the overtone spectrum in such a way that the group sounded like a choir many times its size. Perhaps it was because each singer had at least a three-octave range, enabling an overlapping of vocal territories that extended the boundaries of tonal possibilities. Or it could have been their exquisitely accurate intonation and exceptional unity. Star-Scape's musical material ranged from traditional classics to unique arrangements of contemporary classics such as "What a Wonderful World" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands. With over 150 original choral works primarily co-composed by Christopher Dedrick and Kenneth Mills, the magic of Star-Scape was not only in what they sang but also in how they sang it. Maestro Mills spent countless hours teaching each singer how to free the voice to such an extent that the walls of traditional boundaries tumbled down. Star-Scape made four extensive European concert tours, including performances in the most celebrated halls in the world, in Paris, Vienna, Munich, Frankfurt, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, and Prague. The ensemble performed in Geneva at the 40th anniversary celebration of the United Nations and inaugurated the 1986 World Year of Music with two-full length programs on Radio Vatican. The singers made history with their performances. In 1991, Maestro Mills and Star-Scape led the first non­-military Victory Day celebrations down the famed Gorky Street of Moscow lined with an estimated 500,000 cheering Russians. Within the Kremlin walls, the singers broke the silence of the churches by singing the first note in 76 years, and were the invited guests to perform at the Church of the Ascension.

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