September 2009

The preparation for the Advent/Christmas concert has officially begun! We have dusted off the pipes, refreshed our memories about proper posture and breathing including the twin-watermelon-under-the-arm trick. If you wonder what that's all about, you'll just have to come to the next rehearsal!
Even though we are still very early in the preparations we are already making some pretty serious music. Yesterday's rehearsal included some excellent interpretations of the vocal lines in Victoria's motet version of 'O magnum mysterium'. The singers are already working hard preparing for the first performance in December.
If you would like to join us to sing, we are still accepting new singers through the end of September. You can email director Will Wickham at for more information. If all you need is to hear some amazing a cappella renditions of renaissance choral music, save the date: December 6, 2009, 3 pm.
See you then!

August 2009

The 2009-2010 season planning is nearing completion on the eve of our first rehearsal. Programming is complete for the season. Our Advent/Christmas program is built around the old traditional tune and words of 'O magnum mysterium'. The hymn is a favorite in many Christian holiday traditions and there are many extant settings by medieval and renaissance composers. We have chosen a motet setting of the text by William Byrd along with a motet and related mass setting by Tomas Luis de Victoria. Also included in the first half of the program are seasonal motets by Hassler and A. Scarlati.

The second half of our December program is centered around more modern settings inspired by and borrowing text from the renaissance masters. We will have settings of texts by William Walton, Zoltan Kodaly and Benjamin Brittain and even one by yours truly, Will Wickham. Our concert will also feature the traditional sing-along carols that our December audiences enjoy so much.
Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Elmira will be the venue for this all-a cappella program. We are looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, December 6, at 3:00 pm.

July 2009

As the hazy dog-days of summer float by in an endless stream of Mango Margaritas, we are hard at work preparing for the 2009-2010 season of the Cantata Singers! We enjoyed a fine '08-'09 season that heard us performing not only some "jazzed-up" Bach as well as music by PDQ (the least son-of-Bach), but also included the New York State premier of Carol Barnett's 'The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass' complete with local folk musicians. A grand standing ovation followed our rendition of Barnett's piece proving both the power of the music and tahe fine voice of the choir and accompanying ensemble.
While we won't be performing any bluegrass or jazz in our upcoming season, we are planning a great season, three full concerts, of music. For complete details please click on the Next Season link under the Events tab above.
In preparation for our season, rehearsals will begin at 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 13 at the First Presbyterian Church on West Clinton Street in Elmira (rehearsals will be 6 pm - 8:30 pm beginning January 3, 2010). If you are interested in singing with us you can email me at for more information or you can join us at that first rehearsal.