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Are we Amused?
by Carol McD. Wallace for Vocal Area Network
Posted May 16, 2004

Amuse logoOn three Sunday afternoons in June, St. Michael's Church (99th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Manhattan) is hosting concerts of music for treble voices. Leading off the series on June 13 is Amuse, a chamber group of sixteen experienced amateur women, led by St. Michael's Associate Organist and Choirmaster, Barbara Bruns.

Amuse is relatively new on the New York vocal scene, having been founded in the fall of 2002 by Lee Ryder who was looking for a different type of vocal challenge. She approached Bruns, who is also the director of St. Michael's Parish Choir, a mostly volunteer group that had attracted some highly capable singers. Bruns worked on the repertory and Ryder worked on the funding for the debut concert in September 2003.

Singers were recruited by audition from St. Michael's Parish Choir members and other experienced women singers. One of the appealing factors of Amuse is the short-term commitment. Rather than signing up for a regular weekly gig, singers signed on for a few intensive weeks with a performance at the end. The concert