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Cantabile Chamber Chorale--a family of voices celebrates 20th anniversary in concert
by Soneni Smith for Vocal Area Network
Posted March 29, 2008

Cantabile Chamber ChoraleThe award winning Cantabile Chamber Chorale will celebrate its 20th Anniversary Season on Saturday, April 5 with a Spring Concert featuring works by composer Eric Ewazen, including the world premiere of his God's World.

Cantabile has performed in England, France, Italy and Sweden under the direction of Somerset (NJ) resident Rebecca Scott. Ms. Scott has dedicated her life to choral singing and education. Over the years Cantabile has been heavily involved in community service. The group has been awarded the New Jersey Cultural Trust Grant and has been honored with the Excellence in Achievement Award from the Middlesex County (NJ) Cultural and Heritage Commission. Cantabile has introduced choral singing to young musicians who are now members of the chamber chorale.

Cantabile was formed over 20 years ago when a group of singers who had performed together in the Rutgers Musica Sacra Oratorio Chorus asked Rebecca Scott to lead their small chamber ensemble for a summer season. After performing together for three summers, the ensemble and Ms. Scott expanded to a year-round schedule. On December 6, 1987, a group of 18 singers performed its first concert as the Cantabile Chamber Chorale under the direction of Ms. Scott with the late David Shillieto as piano accompanist.

"It is our belief that choral music lifts the human spirit and shows the commonality of humanity through musical expression, enlightening programming and supportive friendships," said Ms. Scott, who holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal education and piano from the Eastman School of Music and a Masters degree in conducting from The Juilliard School, where she is presently on the faculty.

"When we started, there were only seven singers looking for a small group singing experience which would focus on new and exciting repertoire and be a change from our traditional oratorio experience with the large, local university chorus. Presently, we are 31 members. Several of our original members have returned since their children have grown older and we have many alumni who still attend our concerts. We know as our youth singers grow up, they will continue to sing and bring their own children to choral singing.

"Since we've been together, there have been six marriages among our members, and several married couples joining together, because singing promotes love and well-being. We've become a family of voices. We sing in public schools, nursing homes, churches, synagogues and with other choruses in the United States and internationally. It is the love of singing, the collective spirit and the sheer joy of building a supportive and compassionate community that keeps us together. We reach out to others through our performances here and abroad and we will continue to help shape the emotional, spiritual and intellectual expression of humanity."

Through its fundraising and performances, Cantabile commissions both emerging and well-established American composers. It is among the very few community chorales that has continuously chosen to take on the challenge of supporting composers and performing their premieres. The vision stated 20 years ago continues today, says Ms. Scott. "Cantabile provides the challenge of singing the repertoire for small ensemble with all its difficulties, nuances and special performing problems, while providing the love and good fellowship of joining with close friends in an artistic endeavor."

The concert will be held Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 PM at Christ United Methodist Church, 485 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Concert tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door for general admission. Student and senior tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. For more information and to reserve tickets, go to www.cantabilechamberchorale.org or call 732-560-7132 x2.

Soneni Smith sings with Cantabile Chamber Chorale.

Content Contact: Soneni Smith.
Revision Date: March 29, 2008.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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