Open To The World ’23: VOCES8 & Ringmasters

One Night Only: VOCES8, the Grammy-nominated renowned British vocal ensemble, joined forces with Ringmasters, Sweden’s premier vocal ensemble, for a collaborative concert in Vilnius. They presented an extraordinary festive program that seamlessly blended classical, contemporary, barbershop, and popular music.

Open To The World 2023 Vocal Music Festival presented a special evening in Vilnius. On December 2, at the cozy St. Catherine’s Church, VOCES8 and Ringmasters delivered a stylistically diverse, atmospheric, and unique musical program. This marked Ringmasters’ inaugural visit to Lithuania and the first joint concert of the talented British and Swedish performers in the country.

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Rolls-Royce of British A Cappella Ensembles

Ringmasters & Voces8

VOCES8 is renowned for its highly sensitive, luminous, and elegant sound. The group uses an astonishingly meticulous method that controls and harmonizes the natural vibrato of each of its members and, if necessary, neutralizes it completely. This creates a unique and silky-smooth sound.

A New Dimension to the Word ‘Ensemble’


The ensemble receives regular praise from critics, such as: ‘The Rolls-Royce of British a cappella ensembles’ (The Art Desk), ‘A perfect blend of calm contentment and soaring spirit’ (The Independent), and ‘They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning’ (Gramophone Magazine).

The vocal ensemble’s repertoire effortlessly combined music from various styles and eras, from 18th-century polyphonies to original jazz and popular music arrangements.

VOCES8 visited Lithuania for the third time as part of the Open To The World project. In 2018 and 2021, they performed four sold-out concerts with Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, captivating audiences with their stunning performances. In 2023, they returned to their beloved Vilnius to perform with the hosting Lithuanian choir and other guests of the Open To The World 2023 festival.

Inspired by The Simpsons


The world champions of barbershop music seamlessly blend their extraordinary virtuosity with the infectious energy of pop music. Their vibrant melodies and captivating live performances take audiences on a journey from beloved barbershop classics to enchanting Swedish choral music, from the timeless tunes of Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic hits of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

The remarkable talents of these Swedish performers astonished the Vilnius audience with their sonorous, meticulously harmonized chords, perfect consonance, and tasteful choreography.

The members of Ringmasters are classically trained choral singers from Stockholm’s most prestigious music schools. In 2006, after stumbling upon barbershop music in an episode of The Simpsons, the friends decided that singing in Sweden’s best choirs was not enough. They underwent six years of intensive training before finally being crowned the best barbershop quartet in the world in 2012. Ringmasters became the first non-American group to win the world’s most important barbershop music competition, organized by the Barbershop Harmony Society.

One Night Only in Vilnius: VOCES8 & Ringmasters at the Cozy St. Catherine’s Church


VOCES8 and Ringmasters prepared a spectacular finale featuring two premieres specially crafted for the Vilnius concert. Beloved British and Swedish groups presented Ringmasters’ leader Rasmus Krigström’s composition, “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” which is set to the lyrics of Alfred Lord Tennyson, and the rendition of the gospel hymn “Shall We Gather By The River,” arranged by VOCES8 tenor Blake Morgan.

Concert Program



Leonard Bernstein, arr. Jay Giallombardo

Everybody Says Don’t
Stephen Sondheim, arr. Aaron Dale

Feeling Good
Anthony Newley & Leslie Bricusse, arr. Patrick McAlexander

Here Comes Santa Claus
Oakly Haldeman & Gene Autry, arr. Marshall Webb

Sankt Staffans Visa
Traditional, arr. Helene Stureborg

You Can Fly
Sammy Cahn & Sammy Fain, arr. Clay Hine

Dream River
Kostas Lazarides & Raul Malo, arr. Rasmus Krigström

Bring Him Home
Claude-Michel Schonberg & Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil, arr. Peter Rupay

Mamia Khatelishvili

Bells of Notre Dame/Out There
Alan Menken, arr. Aaron Dale


May It Be
Enya, arr. Matthew Sheeran

Rorate Caeli Desuper
William Byrd


The Unexpected Early Hour
Reena Esmail

The Sleeping Child
Bob Chilcott

Lully, Lulla, Lullay
Philip Stopford

Maria Durch ein Dornwald Ging
Traditional, arr. Stefan Claas

The Oxen
Jonathan Rathbone

All Seems Beautiful to Me
Eric Whitacre

Don McLean, arr. Jim Clements

Silver Bells
Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, arr. Blake Morgan

Let it Snow
Jule Steyn, arr. Jim Clements

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
John Coots & Haven Gillespie, arr. Jim Clements

VOCES8 & Ringmasters Together

Ring Out, Wild Bells
Rasmus Krigström

Shall We Gather By The River
Traditional, arr. Blake Morgan

Jaakko Mäntyjärvi

Artists & Performers

VOCES8 (artistic director Barnaby Smith)
Ringmasters (artistic director Rasmus Krigström)

Producers of the Open To The World 2023 Vocal Music Festival: Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and Audrius Valatkevičius.

Sponsors & Partners

Open To The World 2023

Bel Canto Choir Vilnius’ Open To The World is a unique choral music project in Lithuania that has become a tradition. This year it will evolve into Vilnius’s first-ever vocal-choral music festival. It aims to introduce modern choral music, the world’s best choirs, vocal ensembles, and composers to Lithuanian audiences, promote Western culture, and create, innovate, and improve. Together.

Open To The World 2023 guests include Grammy-nominated VOCES8, the world’s best and most popular British vocal ensemble; Zero8, Sweden’s best and most popular men’s choir; Sweden’s premier vocal ensemble Ringmasters, Dagilėlis, the best boys choir in Lithuania, and Norwegian vocalist and guitarist Marius Beck.

The festival is sponsored by engineering, prefab, and construction company INHUS, Business Garden Vilnius office park, Newsec, the largest property consultancy in Scandinavia, and the Baltics, Vilnius City Municipality, and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The project’s media partner is LRT TV, and its advertising partner is Ogilvy advertising agency.

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