The King's Singers

The King's Singers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas -The King's Singers will continue the North American tour of "Great American Songbook" when they perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Tickets are selling at a fast pace, but there are still excellent seats available for the group's Nacogdoches performance, according to Diane Peterson, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager.

"School and college choirs are attending the performance in groups, so we have blocked off those seats in large areas," Peterson said. "There really are no bad seats in Turner Auditorium, but preferred seating is going quickly."

The "Great American Songbook" program offers up sunny, sophisticated versions of the performers' favorite tunes by Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, arranged by the fast-rising British jazz composer and bassist Alexander L'Estrange. Derived from their brand new record of the same name, the tunes evoke nostalgia for a golden age of American musical culture.

The group features David Hurley, countertenor; Timothy Wayne-Wright, countertenor; Paul Phoenix, tenor; Christopher Bruerton, baritone; Christopher Gabbitas, baritone; and Jonathan Howard, bass.

For Gabbitas, these songs, written during a golden era of American songwriting (mostly for stage and screen), belong in the same category as German lieder or French chansons.

"These songs were written by classically-trained composers, and they endure because of their exceptional integrity," says Gabbitas. "The beautifully crafted nature of these songs makes them classics already. They have the weight of history and form a journey through the emergence of a nation through its pop culture."

L'Estrange's harmonically colorful re-workings of these standards maintain the integrity of the source material while reflecting The King's Singers' hallmark blend and wit, according to John W. Goodall, associate dean of the SFA College of Fine Arts. The group's appearance in Nacogdoches is a feature of the College of Fine Arts' University Series, "Live Out Loud."

"During their 2013-2014 concert season, The King's Singers will perform throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia in some of the world's most famous venues," Goodall said. "It is a privileged to bring to them to Nacogdoches and SFA as part of our University Series."

Prior to the concert, there will be a 7 p.m. informative talk about the artists and their music to be presented by Dr. Tim King, director of choral activities at SFA, in Griffith Gallery located across the hall from Turner Auditorium. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers and to honor the event's corporate sponsor, Lehmann Eye Center.

Griffith Gallery and Turner Auditorium are located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

Tickets range from $20 to $40, with discounts available for seniors, SFA faculty/staff, students and youth. For tickets or more information, visit or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.