- Find a Choir
- Info Exchange
- Links Collection
- Support VAN
"How can we, as urban creatures, coexist in harmony, mutual respect and care, with nature?" That is the question underlying the season theme, "Our Mother Earth," for the singers of Schola Cantorum on Hudson. "It is so easy to allow such issues to polarize, and that is far from our intent," says founding Artistic Director Deborah Simpkin King. She tells of the destruction of a healthy, almost century-old shade tree across the street from her home, and the dilemma her neighbor faced in addressing the concern for a safe sidewalk--which was the catalyst for the season's theme. "Surely it can be possible to meet urban needs of safety and economic development while honoring and protecting the very natural surroundings upon which our lives depend."
"The program for 'Trees' is absolutely fabulous!" exclaimed SCH soprano Deborah Spinella, following the season's kickoff rehearsal. Alto Mari Schindele adds, "I'm torn between what I love best--singing familiar pieces like the Messiah or challenging myself with new pieces," reflecting Schola's November and December concert offerings--"Canopy of Life" and "Messiah and More." The 35-voice choral ensemble, with performing residencies in Manhattan and Montclair, NJ, rehearses four blocks from the Journal Square PATH station in Jersey City, and still has room for two bass/baritone voices. Interested singers should call the Artistic Director directly at 888-407-6002 x4.
Schola is proud to be collaborating with photographic fine artist Yvette Lucas, who specializes in photographs of trees, and with Joshua Johnson in creating and producing the multi-media element of "Canopy of Trees." Artwork of schoolchildren will enhance the March concerts, called "Mother Nurture," and result in community enhancement activities in local parks. "Spirit Earth" (May concerts) focuses on an Earth in need of care from us, her inhabitants, and will feature a commission by Schola's featured composer Daniel Brinsmead, and collaboration with the award-winning New Jersey Youth Chorus, under the direction of Patricia Joyce.
Reflecting its belief that music can positively impact and enrich lives, SCH seeks to present (mostly new) music in a way that is accessible through its clear and tangible connection with some universal element or concept that becomes a theme to be musically explored throughout an entire season. Past season themes include "Freedom" and "Healing," the latter in the 10th year beyond the 9/11 tragedy.
"A human being is part of the whole . . . a part limited in time and space . . . Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison [of the optical delusion of separate consciousness] by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. . . ." -- Albert Einstein
[Editor's note: This article was adapted from a posting on the Schola Cantorum on Hudson web site.]
Deborah Simpkin King is the artistic director of Schola Cantorum on Hudson.