The Ochote Langreano (a deep-voice Vocal Octet) was created, as its name indicates, in Langreo, the main town in the Asturian mining area known as Cuenca del Nalón, in 1987, its foundation being the answer to the interest of a number of people that shared a very special hobby:  the amazing world of choral singing, and particularly in small male-voice groups such as quartets or octets, so popular in Asturias and the rest of Northern Spain. This Vocal Octet is  made up of men coming from previous choral experiences in the area.

In its relatively short,  although intense life,  and always under the wise conduction of Patricia Miriam Martínez Iglesias, the Langreano Vocal Octet has sung at very different places. From popular celebrations and festivals, to professional meetings, from small  assembly halls to superb and prestigious theatres. Thus, among others, the Langreano Octet has been at theatres such as the Rosalía de Castro ( La Coruña), Lope de Vega ( Seville), Campoamor and Filarmonica (Oviedo) -these two ones on many occasions-, and it has shared the stage with  prestigious choirs such as Zion Harmonize from New Orleans.

Additionally, the Langreano Octet organises musical events related to the promotion of the Choral music . Just to mention some relevant and prestigious ones: in 1992 they organized the 3rd  “Nalon Valley Community Choral Encounter”, while in 1999 the Octet made it possible for the First “Meeting of Quartets and Octets” to take place in Langreo, their hometown. This festival has been held in Langreo ever since, year after year, having become a traditional event in the area.

Not only are its activities numerous,  but also the awards that they have been accumulating, and so the Langreano Octet is often required for famous choral festivals, whether at home or far away. Thus in 1999, having been invited by the Spanish Choral Federation, they sang at the National Contest of Octets held in Borja (Zaragoza). Subsequently, in the years 2000 and 2008, this choral group was invited to participate in Portugalete (Basque Country), in the Octet International Festival celebrated in this Basque town. The Langreano Vocal Octet would have to wait until 2014 in order to sing again in Basque towns; this time the place was Errenteria, with the traditional meeting of vocal octets held in this town every year; great moments lived in a land where choral singing has always been a cultural icon. En 2017, this Octet took part in the famous Mining Song Festival, held every year in Murcia (SW Spain)

In the prestigious Folk Contest “City of Oviedo” – a  must every year for Asturian traditional music- the Langreano Vocal Octet has successfully participated in several editions, having so far achieved two second prizes and three first positions, a record which is difficult to achieve in such a demanding and difficult contest as the one celebrated in Oviedo on a yearly basis.

Crossing the Spanish borders, in November 2002 the Octet achieved the third prize in the European Contest of Popular Chant celebrated in the Italian city of Bolzano. This happened after a first round in which an international jury selected the Octet together with ten other choirs, from a total of fifty-eight that attended the Festival. In the semifinal, celebrated on 21 and 22 November 2002, the Octet got qualified together with five other choirs, in the fourth position; and in the final round of the Festival, celebrated on the following day, they achieved the commendable third prize before mentioned,  just behind a Croatian and an Italian choir.

It should also be mentioned that the Langreano Octet was awarded in 2004 the “Bronze Capercaillie” , a prestigious prize granted every year by the Asturian Centre of Madrid, as a recognition of a relevant work of spreading of culture through the Asturian choral music.

But no everything in choral music is held in great venues. Asturians share with Basque people the love for choral singing of small groups (quartets and octets) in cider bars, a tradition that comes from long ago, and which is still present in the form of contests and festivals where a great many cider bars become venues for choral concerts. And the Langreano is one of the most prestigious and most frequently requested octets in this type of events, having won several prizes in different Asturian towns.

As regards recordings, the Octet has so far taken part in three musical projects referring to Asturian folklore, having as well  an own CD, “From a place in Asturias”, which has received the warmest of welcomes and a favorable reception by the specialised critics.

In 2013 the Langreano Vocal Octet celebrated its 25th anniversary. And to mark this special occasion, two events appeared as worthy of mention: The awarding of the prestigious “Axuntábense” Prize, and the release of its second studio recording. The “Axuntábense” Prize is awarded every year by the Asturian Choral Federation, once all Asturian choirs have submitted their votes with their support. The fact that the Langreano Octet has received this prize after 25 years singing, is a brilliant recognition of a whole career in the world of choral music.

As for its second album, “Cantando…” (“Singing…”)  it came as a new work where a varied 15-song repertoire  was collected, with traditional Asturian songs together with music from other regions of Spain and abroad, as well as choral versions of well-known popular songs.  In November 2013, this new CD -together with their 25th anniversary- made the Langreano Octet win the 2013 Asturian Critics Prize, awarded by the Asturian Broadcasting Corporation, RTPA.
And needless to say… this is just one more step. There’s more to come…