In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Pamela Cook is regarded as a leading authority on vocal and choral techniques, and is much in demand for solo and choral workshops at home and abroad. These have included working with choirs in Israel, Finland, Belgium and Canada and in the USA, where 400 ladies from the Ivy League Colleges of Radcliffe, Harvard, Smith, Mount Holyoak and Amherst were involved. She is also an external examiner for University and Conservatoire final degrees.
Many students from around the world have visited Mansfield to observe the methods used in training Cantamus, the girls choir with which she has gained 22 first and 4 second prizes in 24 international choral competitions. Among these are a double first (jury and audience) in Montreux (1978), the City of Vienna trophy for best choir in Vienna (1982), BBC/Sainsbury's Choir of the Year (Adults) 1986 and the same in the Youth Section in 1994, the Grand Prix in Riva del Garda 1996, Choir of the World (Llangollen Eisteddfod) 1997, as well as championships and two gold medals in the World Choral Olympics in Bremen, 2004, repeated in China in 2006.
She has lectured in Physiology, Use and Care of the Voice at the World Symposium in Choral Music and served on judging panels of international choral competitions in Europe, as well as for BBC2 and Welsh Television. Articles by Pamela Cook have been published in the IFCM Journal, ABCD magazine, Masterworks magazine, The Singer and Music Teacher; she has also written a handbook on vocal technique.
Pamela Cook has taught in Universities and Colleges of Education, including the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. She was formerly the Senior Lecturer in Voice at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Her current private studio includes professional opera singers from all over the UK and abroad, professional choralists and those girls aged over 16 from Cantamus who choose to pursue a career in singing. It is a source of pride that since 1970 every girl in Cantamus who has chosen to read music in a Conservatoire or University has been successful in her application, and many of these have gone on to grace the operatic stages of Great Britain, the Continent and USA.
In 1984 she was awarded the MBE, was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1990 and an Honorary Fellow of Birmingham Conservatoire in 1993. Later the same year International Rotary conferred on her the Paul Harris Fellowship. In 2003 she was made a Vice-President of the Association of British Choral Directors alongside John Rutter and Brian Kay, and now serves on the Music Advisory Board of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Mansfield District Council conferred a Civic Honour on her for performance, teaching and Cantamus in 1989, and in 2006 she was awarded the honorary freedom of the District along with Cantamus and their aides "as being exemplary ambassadors across the world and performing to the highest standards of choral music through four decades."
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Review: Called by one observer "probably the best girls' choir in the world," Mansfield, Nottinghamshire's (UK) Cantamus Girls Choir consists of approximately 40 girls aged between 13 and 19. Founded in 1968 by Director Pamela Cook, the Choir has consistently won international competitions such as the "Choir of the World" title 1997 Llangollen Eisteddfod, Olympic Champions title at the World Choir Games 2004 and 2006 and many others. There are 20 songs here, mostly lightly accompanied by accompanist and arranger Michael Neaum. Some of our favorites are "Look to this Day," "La Regata," "O Won't You Sit Down?," "Goin' Up-a-Yonder;" "Pretty Little Horses," "And So It Goes," "Miss You Nights" and "The Rose." Wonderful leads, perfect harmonies - "Joy" is exactly that!
Review: This disc by this exemplary girls' chorus is an assortment of songs from around the world, from traditional folk music to works by composers such as Pergolesi, Schubert and Lloyd-Webber to spirituals. Many of the songs were arranged for Cantamus by their accompanist Michael Neaum. The chorus shows great skill in their mastery of a wide variety of styles and languages. This recording showcases pieces under the topics of Morning Joy, Meditation, Love's Delights, Love's Lament, Dancing and Goodnight. This CD features "Songs from a Bare Mountain" by Nigel Osborne, which was commissioned by Cantamus.
Review: Michael Neaum's arrangements number over 150. His work is lauded by choirs for being singable. He brings out the color and flavor found with in the conventional harmonic idiom and adds unexpected nuances. In addition to arranging, he is the accompanist for Cantamus. On this recording the world renowned girls' chorus sings Neaum's accompanied and a cappella arrangements of folk songs, spirituals, madrigals, Victorian songs and popular ballads from the twentieth century. Neaum's arrangements are wonderfully sung by this exceptional chorus.
Review: Founder Pamela Cook directs Cantamus, based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, UK, her 40 hand picked singers, girls age 13 to 19, in a generous, finely-crafted Christmas collection of 19 songs. Just a quick listen to John Rutter's "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and accompanist Michael Neaum's arrangements of "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear," and we know what a treat "Noel" is going to be! Mostly accompanied by piano, flute and other instruments, there are few sounds as joyous and welcoming at Christmas than these soaring, spirited young voices singing favorites like "Patapan," "Stille Nacht," "White Christmas," "Riu, Riu Chiu" and "Away in a Manger;" and lesser-known tunes like "I Sing of a Maiden," "Lullay Myn Lyking," "Midwinter" and "Pastorcito Santo." Treat yourself and your loved ones to "Noel," a true musical Christmas gift!
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