Music with history

  • By Mike Murray / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Schola Antiquae Vocis – choir of antique voices – is a well-named ensemble.

The 14-woman choir specializes in the highly disciplined and precise art of singing music that goes back centuries: Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony and traditional sacred music.

This is music with an ancient heritage and a deeply spiritual connection with its long history as part of the worship service of the Roman Catholic Church. Its meditative, reflective quality resonates with modern audiences.

Hear for yourself on Saturday when the Schola Antiquae Vocis gives a concert in Everett.

It will be a rewarding experience for the audience, promises choir member Hedwig-Irene Johnson. “They will think they are in heaven.”

The choir, which has the rare distinction of having performed with the Vatican choir, will present a varied program that includes Gregorian chants dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries as well as polyphony music, a combination of independent but harmonizing melodies. They will even perform a bit of Mozart.

The group sings a cappella. Saturday’s concert will be enlivened when one of the choir members, a professional flutist, performs.

The concert will be at United Methodist Church, 3530 Colby Ave., Everett. A $10 suggested donation is requested at the door.

Choir members, who come from Skagit and Island counties, include nurses, counselors, massage therapists and a barista. What they share is a love of singing, Johnson said.

Schola is directed by Renato Chiera, a former Vatican choir singer.

Just how good this group has become is reflected in the fact that the choir was invited to sing in the Vatican with the Vatican choir, a rare honor that happened on a 2003 tour of Italy.

“It was awesome,” Johnson said. “You want to pinch yourself.”

Bach’s “Passion”: Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Passion According to St. John” will be performed Sunday by Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers.

This Palm Sunday event, conducted by George Shangrow, features Stephen Ng singing the role of the Evangelist and Michael Delos in the role of Jesus. Other soloists are Kathryn Weld, Stephen Wall and Brian Box.

Margriet Tindemans solos on the viola da gamba and Robert Kechley will play continuo harpsichord and organ.

The concert is at 7 p.m. in Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Giants of the keyboards: Pianists Emmanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman give a dual recital Monday at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

The Seattle Symphony presents the world-class pianists in a concert of two-piano repertoire. The program includes Schumann’s “Six Canonic Etudes,” Debussy’s “En Blanc et Noir,” “La Valse” by Ravel and Stravinky’s “The Rite of Spring.”

Schola Antiquae Vocis performs Saturday in Everett.

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