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This profile was last updated on 11/23/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Ward Swingle

Wrong Ward Swingle?


Felix Hell

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

112 Total References
Web References
Reviews and Comments on BACH & friends | Michael Lawrence Films, 23 Nov 2014 [cached]
Other musical highlights include a terrific young organist, Felix Hell and the Swingle Singers (led by their founder, Ward Swingle) in an a cappella "Badinerie" from the second orchestral suite.
It's so much fun to watch the Swingle Singers put together the Badinerie layer by layer while Ward lays his thoughts on top; or meet John Bayless, and then later watch him slide into the MRI.
Unbelievable sound quality (the string music, the thundering organ, and Ward Swingle's whisper-voice, all up at the same crisp decibel level) and the fine lighting.
Just a few high points: The young organist playing the D-major Fugue and watching his feet dancing across the pedal keyboard; pianists John Bayless and Anatoly Larkin in a grand dueling duet improvising on themes of Bach; Ward Swingle rehearsing the current incarnation of the Swingle Singers (makes you wanna go "baba dabadaba").
Yours ever, Ward Swingle
The Swingle Singers was founded by ..., 29 Sept 2012 [cached]
The Swingle Singers was founded by Ward Swingle, an American vocalist and jazz composer.
"From the beginning, the group's success was created by the music of Bach," says Swingle first tenor Oliver Griffiths.
The original group disbanded in 1973, and Swingle moved to London to found Swingle II. Now retired and living just outside of Paris, he continues to advise and occasionally arrange for the current bunch. But a lot more than nationality has changed.
Ward ..., 1 May 2014 [cached]
Ward Swingle
Ward Swingle
Our upcoming Pops show will feature an arrangement of Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You" by American jazz icon Ward Swingle.
Early in his career, Mr. Swingle performed with Les Double Six of Paris, whose founder Mimi Perrin used the technique of writing words to imitate the sounds of jazz instruments.
When Double Six disbanded, Mr. Swingle established his Swingle Singers, including two other former Double Six members. He took the scat-singing idea and applied it to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, resulting in five Grammy Awards for the Swingle Singers' early recordings. He later expanded the Swingle repertoire to include classical and avant-garde works along with scat and jazz vocal arrangements.
Choir of the Sound has a very special connection to Ward Swingle: his daughter, Kathryn Swingle, is one of our altos!
the swingle singers - associates, 29 Dec 2008 [cached]
WARD SWINGLE Founder, Singer, Arranger, Composer, Musical Advisor Swingle Singer 1963-1984
Ward Swingle
Founder, Singer, Arranger, Composer, Musical Advisor
Since leaving the group, Ward has continued to supply marvellous new arrangements and advise us on how we're doing with everything else.
The group doesn't have difficulty finding an excuse to visit Ward and his lovely wife Francoise whenever we're near Paris. They've settled in nicely in a sleepy town about an hour into the French countryside - surely the ideal rehearsal venue if ever there was one!
Ward's biography
Ward Swingle was the product of an unusually liberal musical education. In his home town, Mobile, Alabama, he grew up with the sound of jazz and played in one of the great Big Bands before finishing High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Cincinnati Conservatory and studied piano with the celebrated Walter Gieseking in postwar France. In Paris in the sixties he was a founding member of the fabled Double Six of Paris, then took the scat singing idea and applied it to the works of Bach, hence The Swingle Singers, whose early recordings won five Grammies.
When the Paris group disbanded in 1973, Swingle moved to London and formed an English group, expanding the repertoire to include classical and avant-garde works along with the scat and jazz vocal arrangements. In 1984, Swingle returned to live in America. Though he remained as Musical Advisor for his London-based group, he devoted most of his time to workshops, guest conducting and the dissemination of his printed arrangements through his publishing company, Swingle Music.
His pioneering ideas in new choral techniques have produced invitations to conduct a wide variety of choral ensembles: The Stockholm and Netherlands Chamber Choirs, The Dale Warland Singers, The Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir, the BBC Northern Singers, The Gregg Smith Singers and the MENC National Honors Choir at Kennedy Centre. Over the last ten years he has given a long series of workshops and seminars at outstanding universities in both Europe and North America.
In March of 1994 he and Mrs Swingle moved back to France, where he continues his work in arranging, composing, adjudicating and guest conducting. He has recently written a book called 'Swingle Singing', in which he tells the story of the French and English groups, his own story, and defines 'Swingle Singing' techniques with illustrations from his own arrangements and compositions.
You can learn more about how Ward started the swingle singers and his full involvement with the group from past to present in the History section.
Ann was a great asset for the swingle singers, advising on publicity material and interviewing Ward Swingle for a recent publicity video.
Having joined the swingle singers when Ward Swingle was still performing with the group and steered the ensemble's activities through more than a decade of performances and recordings, Jonathan's contribution to the group's history bridges the gap between the English group's first years and the modern era.
Her ability as an arranger and musician helped ensure that the group continues today as a successful touring ensemble; but it was her determination and skill as a communicator that led to the swingle singers having a very healthy working relationship with its founder Ward Swingle, as well as all other notable faces from the group's history.
Bach Reviews | Michael Lawrence Films, 5 Nov 2010 [cached]
It was splendid to see Peter Schickele reviving some of the folklore about PDQ Bach (the arch-plagiarist who composed with tracing paper) and Ward Swingle who has been presenting energized Bach with affection for about half a century.
Other musical highlights include a terrific young organist, Felix Hell and the Swingle Singers (led by their founder, Ward Swingle) in an a cappella "Badinerie" from the second orchestral suite.
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