Founder, Singer, Arranger, Composer, Musical Advisor Swingle Singer 1963-1984
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
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!
was the product of an unusually liberal musical education.
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.
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.
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
work in arranging, composing, adjudicating and guest conducting.
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.