Your Cart UMS
Saturday, December 14, 2024 7:30 PM // Hill Auditorium

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return

Performance
 

The charismatic a cappella quartet Kings Return has such a rich, warm, and powerful blend of vocal timbres that it’s no wonder the Grammy-nominated group has amassed a large and devoted following since their 2016 founding in Dallas.

Unbound by a single genre, their sound is rooted in gospel, jazz, R&B, and Western classical music. One of their signature “staircase performances” (where they often rehearse and post their videos online) caught the eye of about 10 million people, including mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who reached out to explore a collaboration. UMS audiences are the beneficiaries of this serendipitous exchange, with a special holiday program that will no doubt inspire vocal music lovers, families, and the thousands of students and alumni who have sung in a cappella groups across the U-M campus.

Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato
Kings Return
Kings Return

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return
Hill Auditorium
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

CHOOSE A PERFORMANCE:

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets Or call the ticket office at 734-764-2538

* Student, Senior and Group Discounts may be available

Saturday, December 14, 2024 7:30 PM
Hill Auditorium

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return

Performance
Order 2024/25 Season Tickets
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

The charismatic a cappella quartet Kings Return has such a rich, warm, and powerful blend of vocal timbres that it’s no wonder the Grammy-nominated group has amassed a large and devoted following since their 2016 founding in Dallas.

Unbound by a single genre, their sound is rooted in gospel, jazz, R&B, and Western classical music. One of their signature “staircase performances” (where they often rehearse and post their videos online) caught the eye of about 10 million people, including mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who reached out to explore a collaboration. UMS audiences are the beneficiaries of this serendipitous exchange, with a special holiday program that will no doubt inspire vocal music lovers, families, and the thousands of students and alumni who have sung in a cappella groups across the U-M campus.

Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato
Kings Return
Kings Return

Thank You to Our Sponsors

PRINCIPAL SPONSOR

  • Karl V. Hauser and Ilene H. Forsyth Choral Union Endowment Fund

SUPPORTING SPONSOR

  • Norman and Debbie Herbert
  • Peter Toogood and Hanna Song

Buy Tickets

Joyce DiDonato and Kings Return
Hill Auditorium
Season Ticket packages now available
Individual event tickets on sale Aug 1

CHOOSE A PERFORMANCE:

Order 2024/25 Season Tickets

Or call the ticket office at 734-764-2538

* Student, Senior and Group Discounts may be available

Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato

Multi Grammy Award winner and 2018 Olivier Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, Kansas-born Joyce DiDonato entrances audiences across the globe, and has been proclaimed “perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation” by the New Yorker. With a voice “nothing less than 24-carat gold” according to the Times, Joyce has soared to the top of the industry both as a performer and a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence in operas by Handel and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography. She is also widely acclaimed for the bel canto roles of Rossini and Donizetti.

Much in demand on the concert and recital circuit she has recently held residencies at Carnegie Hall and at London’s Barbican Centre, toured extensively in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia and appeared as guest soloist at the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. Recent concert highlights include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Ricardo Muti, the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and the Accademia Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra USA under Sir Antonio Pappano.

In opera, Joyce’s recent roles include Didon Les Troyens at the Vienna State Opera; Sesto, Cendrillon and Adalgisa Norma at the Metropolitan Opera, Agrippina in concert with Il Pomo d’Oro under Maxim Emelyanchev; Sister Helen Dead Man Walking at the Teatro Real Madrid and London’s Barbican Centre; Semiramide at the Bavarian State Opera and Royal Opera House, and Charlotte Werther at the Royal Opera.

Learn more at joycedidonato.com

Kings Return
Kings Return

Dynamic and soothing four-piece vocal group Kings Return take pride in crafting a diverse yet supremely cohesive a cappella sound: The blend of their unique vocal timbres is so rich and so smooth that, at times, it sounds more like a full choir than a mere four men. Discovered after posting a series of bare-bones stairwell performances that went viral, their music is a balm to the soul, laced with expansive harmonies that flex the agility and effortless range of their vocal talent.

Kings Return was first conceived in 2016, when Kunda asked some friends to perform with him for a college recital. The a cappella performance captivated the crowd and soon led to local gigs, where the group cut their teeth before finalizing the lineup in 2020. Composed of tenor Vaughn Faison, bass Gabe Kunda, tenor JE McKissic, and baritone Jamall Williams, the Dallas-based quartet has since captured the hearts of millions of fans in-person and online. They earned their first taste of fame that summer, when they arranged, performed, and posted a video of their soul-stirring, a cappella rendition of “God Bless America,” which went viral. The next year, they posted a more classical a cappella performance of “Ubi Caritas,” which also went viral, amassing over 10 million views. A pivotal moment for the budding act, Kings Return began to shift away from a strictly gospel focus to explore a more diverse musical repertoire. They dropped their debut EP in December 2021, a warm, jazz-leaning holiday album titled Merry Little Christmas, followed by the June 2022 release of their stunning Bee Gees cover “How Deep is Your Love” off debut LP ROVE, which earned a GRAMMY nomination for “best arrangement instrumental or a cappella.”

The group’s name perfectly embodies their intentions as artists: “Kings” because they possess a charismatic power, moving forward with confidence to conquer whatever challenges arise. The “Return” signifies another important part of their mission: to give back to the communities that have supported them along the way. “We don’t use any instruments, and it can feel very vulnerable to perform on stage alone, especially as Black men — with all stigma that entails,” says Kunda. “When we come together to do this vulnerable thing called a cappella, it strengthens our bonds. It makes us tighter as a unit and as human beings. We want to be examples for other men like us.”

Learn more at kingsreturnmusic.com