The 24 is conducted by Robert Hollingworth, also founder/director of I Fagiolini, one of the UK’s top professional vocal ensembles.
The 24 rehearses twice a week and prepares three (quite advanced) choral programmes for the department’s concert series, as well as giving other occasional concerts.
In 2020-1, the choir continued to rehearse in person (masked) and online. A live concert was given in summer 2021 of Finzi's 'Lo the full final sacrifice' and Frank Martin's Mass for Double Choir.
Repertoire is chosen from the 15th to 21st centuries. The 24 has sung Daniel-Lesur’s highly demanding 'Le cantique des cantiques' for twelve voices (1952) and the UK premiere (60 years on) of Jean Françaix’s 'Ode à la gastronomie' (1953). The latter was featured on both BBC Radio 3’s The Choir and In Tune.
In 2015, eight graduates of the choir joined I Fagiolini to record the Daniel-Lesur for Decca Classics which was released as Amuse-Bouche. In November 2016, the choir joined I Fagiolini again for a major Decca release entitled Monteverdi – The Other Vespers, and in August 2015 The 24 was one of three featured choirs at the Association of British Choral Directors’ Convention. In spring 2017, the ensemble travelled to Florence to perform Striggio’s 40-part Mass with I Fagiolini, one to a part and also with them opened the 2017 York Early Music Festival with a surround-sound ‘walk-through’ performance of Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers in York Minster.
The choir has also given other premieres by David Lancaster and Ralph Bateman and recently performed music by Richard Rodney Bennett, Bo Holten, Ben Rowarth, Ian King, Adrian Williams and Eric Whitacre.
In 2021 the first concert - entitled 'Crunchy Frog' - a mystery playlist to be announced only on the night - will be performed on November 24th. Other concerts will be on March 2nd, and June 1st, 2022.
Membership of The 24 is open to all students and is by audition in Week 1 of the Autumn Term.
A prize of £150 is offered by ex-Yorkshire composer Sean Rourke to the winning entrant in this competition, open to current students at the University of York. The work should be for unaccompanied choir and not last for more than five minutes.
The winning composition will be performed by The 24 on 19 February as part of their Music Department concert. Deadline for submissions is 4pm on the 10 January via email as a pdf (and mp3 file) to The 24's administrator, Rachel Singer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The prize will be adjudicated by Robert Hollingworth and one other member of staff. The right is reserved not to award the prize if entries do not meet expected levels of accomplishment. The award can be split between two winners, if desired. The composer should provide a programme note. All subsequent performances of the winning work must mention the award appropriately.