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Monday, February 12, 2007

Berkshire Composer's Concert & Workshop

The Cantilena Chamber Choir Presents

A Berkshire Composer’s Concert & Workshop


The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present a concert and workshop by area composers on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 35 Park Street, Williamstown.

The event will include a presentation of new choral works followed by an open dialogue among the composers, the choir and conductor, Andrea Goodman, on various aspects of the piece and its performance with the score on view for the audience. After each work, discussion will revolve around the accuracy of the choir's interpretation of the composer's intentions, and how the work could have been more effectively written or performed.

"This is a unique opportunity for these composers to be able to hear their works performed by a choir of this calibre," Goodman said.

The concert is free and open to the public (but with a suggested donation of $15.00). Students are especially encouraged to attend at no cost thanks to generous grants from Berkshire Life Insurance Company, the High Meadow Foundation, and the Golub Foundation. Reservations (recommended) can be made by phone at 518-791-0185 or by email at satbchoir@yahoo.com. Those interested in more information can visit www.bhsinging.org/cdata/cant.

The featured composers at the March 4 concert and workshop are:

Steve Murray, Richmond: Singer, composer in residence for Albany Pro Musica, and local jazz band impresario.

Charles Fitzhugh, Lee: Choral singer, composer, and pianist for the Lee High School's upcoming production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” this March.

Alice Spatz, Lanesborough: Classical free-lance double bassist and teacher of double bass, music theory and composition at the Berkshire Music School..

James Bergin, Williamstown: Composer and Artistic Director of NotaRiotous, a Boston-based chamber ensemble dedicated to performance of microtonal music. North Adams resident, Special Events Coordinator at St. John’s Episcopal church in Williamstown.

John Newell, Pittsfield: Composer, pianist and conductor, founder and conductor of the Berkshire County Chamber Orchestra in Pittsfield. For many years served as music director for the Congregational Church of Worthington.

Clive Davis, Sheffield: Adjunct Professor of Electronic Music at Simon’s Rock College and the Director of Music at the Berkshire School.

Now in its third season, the 24-voice Cantilena ensemble includes professional singers and instrumentalists as well as music educators. It has been described by Berkshire Record music critic Simon Wainrib as having an “an appealing transparency of vocal texture, a clean articulation of the texts, a flawless vocal balance, and, above all, a near-perfect intonation of unaccompanied voices….”

The choir began its season in a joint appearance with the Empire Brass in their Sept. 30, 2006, concert at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield.

The group is under the artistic direction of Andrea Goodman, who is also the director of the Saratoga Choral Festival, an annual summer concert series for chorus and orchestra in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In 2004, it was the chorus in residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.