20 May, 2013 - - Sitting here in the beautiful Southern Tier of upstate New York on a most peaceful, sunny early summer-like morning, it is easy to recall the joy contained in some pretty amazing music making yesterday! Our 2012-13 season concluded on a high note with some wonderful Palestrina and absolutely luscious music by Eric Whitacre. The ovation at the end pretty well summed up not only the concert and the amazing effort by the current group of dedicated singers, but summed up the 50th May concert of a truly amazing organization.
Our current musical family is but the latest version of a very long line of singers who have all shared several things in common. Along with the close-knit family feeling of this amazing group of singers, perhaps the most important of these is a love of singing great music! This most recent successful season aside, the list of great music this group has accomplished is amazing. Most of the great choral works of the last millenium have been covered at some point in the 49 years since the group was founded. And covered well, at least in my experience which goes back to 1981 when my "audition" for then musical director Bill Payne placed me with a rather rambuctious group of first tenors. What fun we had! The joy of watching that same fun, the same dedication and hard work, from the other side of the podium for the past 17 seasons is among the greatest joys of my life.
With all of this in mind I can shamelessly admit to looking forward so very eagerly for our 50th anniversary season to begin in September. The opportunity to continue with this current group of talented, dedicated and loving singers along with new regular voices and what alumni we can gather for what we hope to be a huge May program, is truly an honor for me. To all of this season's singers: My most humble thanks and heartiest congratulations on a great year. We did good. To all past and future Cantata Singers: I extend my most sincere invitation to join us in sharing such a warm and intimate experience of making music together and the joy, the thrill that can only come from then sharing that gift with the world. - - will wickham