The Spring, 2017 concert of Cantemus Women’s Choir, “Songbirds”, takes flight on Sunday, May 7th at 7:30 pm at Waverly Road Presbyterian Church in Kingsport. United by themes of nature, birds and flight, the concert draws upon baroque, romantic and 20th century works to create a rich and uplifting program of choral music. Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, Eleanor Daley, Sarah Quartel and Antonio Vivaldi are among the featured composers in the May concert.
Now in its third year, the choir brings together about three dozen women from the Tri Cities area, from Abingdon, VA to Greeneville, TN and points in between. The choir is under the direction of Patty Denmark, who is also the Director of Music at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and Assistant Choir Director at Dobyns-Bennett High School. Mixing a cappella music with a range of small instrumental ensembles, Cantemus has built an enthusiastic regional audience who’ve come to love their elegant and dynamic performances. In this concert, the singers will be joined on several pieces by the Cambia Flute Ensemble.
The “Songbird” theme, according to Denmark, came when she heard a piece of the same name by Sarah Quartel. “Typically, I’ll find a piece of music that I really like, that inspires me,” says Denmark, “and use that as a starting point, a theme to build the program.” In this case that theme also includes Quartel’s “Here on These Branches”, “Be Like the Bird”, a five-part round by Abbie Betinis, and Joan Szymko’s “The Peace of Wild Things”, a setting of Wendell Berry’s well known poem.
This season, Cantemus has performed at Biltmore Estate in November, and the Women in Song Festival, held at Milligan College in March, as well as concerts at Waverly Road in the fall and at Christmas. “Songbirds” is free and open to the public, though donation of $10 is suggested. For more information, contact Patty Denmark at firstname.lastname@example.org.