Ken Burton (born Kenneth Mark Burton; 5 January 1970) is a British chorist, composer and performer.
Burton first gained national attention when two of his choirs (The London Adventist Chorale and the Croydon Seventh-day Adventist Gospel Choir) placed first and second in the prestigious Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition, broadcast nationally in the UK on the British Broadcasting Corporation. His choral activities also involves directorship of BBC Songs of Praise session choir, Adventist Vocal Ensemble (AVE). Burton also formed, and performs with, the a cappella group Tessera, also a regular on BBC Songs of Praise. In addition to his choral and vocal work, he has published several books with Oxford University Press and Faber Music. + Burton first gained national attention when two of his choirs (The London Adventist Chorale and theCroydon Seventh-day Adventist Gospel Choir) placed first and second in the prestigious Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year competition sponsored by the British Broadcasting Corporation. His choral activities also involves directorship of BBC Songs of Praise session choir, Adventist Vocal Ensemble (AVE). Burton also formed, and performs with, the a cappella group Tessera, also a regular on BBC Songs of Praise. In addition to his choral and vocal work, he has published several books with Oxford University Press and Faber Music. − As a conductor, singer, and instrumentalist, he has performed on many of the world's major stages including Wembley Stadium, Toronto Sky Dome, Universal Studios (Florida), Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall.
− − His orchestral music has been played by several of the UK's leading orchestras, among them BBC Orchestra and CBSO.
− − He has worked as a musical director, arranger, and collaborator with many of the world's leading names, among them opera singers Bryn Terfel and Lesley Garrett, gospel singers, including Donnie McClurkin, Andraé Crouch and Helen Baylor, and has worked as a session musician for the UK's largest television show, "The X Factor", and the "US X Factor" where he has contracted choirs, recorded soundtrack choral parts, and done choral arrangements for the world's leading artists, among them Beyoncé, Christian Aguilera, will.i.am, Robbie Williams, and Leona Lewis.
− He has worked extensively with producer Nigel Wright and with Capital Voices director Annie Skates for much of the "X-Factor" work he has done, as well as for other recording projects, among them Andrea Ross and Michael Ball.
− In 2010, he was asked to assist in shaping an arrangement for a song of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. This song was to be a gospel flavoured arrangement of Webber's Song "Love Never Dies", to be recorded by Nicole Scherzinger.
− The song was subsequently recorded, produced by Nigel Wright, with choral arrangements by Annie Skates. Burton provided the choir.
− − In 2007, he was commissioned to write a piece of music for double chorus, for a BBC Radio broadcast of a special service at St Johns College, Cambridge, to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade. This piece was performed by the London Adventist Chorale and the choir of St John's College Cambridge. The a cappella work which drew the African-American and Anglican choral traditions together was entitled "Let The Sound Of Freedom", and involved the choirs interweaving their own genre with the other choir, and borrowing from each other's choral genre.
− A number of other collaborative pieces were written and subsequently recorded by the two choirs, although to date the recording has not been released.
− − Burton has established a recording legacy, often investing his wages, when he first started working as a music teacher, into recordings and recording equipment. He produced a number of recordings with the Croydon Seventh-Day Adventist Gospel Choir, the first being "Until We Reach", which was a showcase of the choir's diversity, with a selection of songs which included an a cappella Classical piece in Latin, an a cappella African piece in the Nigerian Yoruba tongue, Latin American, and many more. Whilst Burton readily admits it was 'lacking in production experience', it was widely appreciated and its song selection still loved by many who follow the choir today. Its reception was positive, with Steve Flashman on LBC radio saying the album was a 'must for every household'. The best endorsement came from HRH Prince Charles, to whom a copy was personally given following a performance by Ken Burton and his choirs on a special Royal Gala television programme. Prince Charles sent a personal letter to Ken to say how much he had enjoyed the recording.
− Whilst Burton records a large number of his works in larger commercial studios, he still maintains his private studio where he is able to do additional projects and additional recording for the larger projects.
Burton has been presented to Her Majesty the Queen on five occasions: two Commonwealth days, Golden Jubilee 2002 where he directed the London Adventist Chorale singing two of his arrangements of African American Spirituals at Buckingham Palace, the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall Royal Gala Concert, and at a special jubilee multi-faith environment programme. All three of the choral entities he looks after: The Croydon SDA Gospel Choir, London Adventist Chorale, and Adventist Vocal Ensemble, have performed, either uniquely or in collaboration, for numerous concerts attended Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal family.