KING’S Ely’s award-winning boys a cappella group – the King’s Barbers – are being given a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing in the south-western Indian state of Goa.

Music lovers from across the globe are expected to attend the Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival at Unesco Heritage City in Old Goa later this month (February). And among the line-up of international soloists, ensembles and choirs performing at the five-day festival is the King’s Barbers, who are all former cathedral or college choir choristers.

The King’s Barbers will not only be starring in the festival but will also be performing at two schools and a children’s hostel during their time there.

Founder and coach of the King’s Barbers, Peter North, is understandably excited for the boys. He said: “The King’s Barbers sing everything from timeless classics to contemporary a cappella songs. The group was founded 27 years ago not only to keep boys singing through the voice-change, but also to introduce them to different performance styles. Former members have sung in some of the most important and successful groups in the a cappella scene, including All the King’s Men and Out of the Blue. This visit to India is an amazing opportunity for the boys to meet musicians from other cultures, to sing with them and to immerse themselves in the Indian way of life.”

Last year, the boys won the National Youth a Cappella Competition, held at the University of Birmingham. They were runners-up the year before.

The Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival will be offering music programs, courses and conferences with artists from several traditions from around the world: Carnatic, Christian, Sufi, Hindustani, Jewish, Orthodox and many others.

A statement on the festival website says the event was “born to inspire a place of artistic, spiritual and musical dialogue”. It adds: “In our scenarios we present concerts where artists from different traditions share their art, to develop the idea of artistic coexistence, as an engine propelling humankind towards mutually respectful and accepting cultural, social and human coexistence.

To find out more about the King’s Barbers, search for the group on Facebook and Twitter.

For information about the festival, go to:

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