The final concert of Kantorei's 2013-2014 season was met with excitement and acclaim, as we celebrated founding conductor Richard Larson, Interim Conductor Sarah Harrison, and incoming Artistic Director Joel Rinsema. Each director conducted portions of the program, which was well-received by equally-appreciative audiences at Augustana Lutheran Church and Bethany Lutheran Church.
thescen3.org reviewer Ruth Carver was on hand, and praised the performance, saying "the full-bodied sound of the choir was stunning."
The program featured a variety of choral music from around the world, with contrasting styles highlighting the messages of change, of hope, and of celebration.
"This potpourri of repertoire gave the audience a taste of everything Kantorei is capable of, and raised excitement about what the future holds under Rinsema’s baton," said Carver.
Kantorei joined Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra in March for 'Eternity,' a thematic program featuring each ensemble along with the Cherry Creek High School Choralaires. The program wove its way through several perspectives of eternity, incorporating both the human perspective and the spiritual. The evening concluded with the music of American composer Morten Lauridsen, whose 'Lux Aeterna' "brought down the house" according to thescen3.org reviewer Ruth Carver.
Said Carver in her review, "The richness of the instrumentation does much to support the vocal harmonies, and the performance by MSCO and Kantorei, conducted by Rutherford, was exceptionally fine."
The concert also featured works by Ives, Nielsen, and Elgar, whose choral arrangement of "Lux Aeterna" as performed by Kantorei featured "stunning, beautiful lines from the choir." The performance was the latest collaboration between MSCO and Kantorei, having performed many large works together over the past several years including Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music" and Faure's "Requiem".
Said Carver, "the choral and orchestral music produced on this evening was a fascinating blend of styles."
Kantorei is thrilled to announce that it has named Joel M. Rinsema as its new Artistic Director. The national search was led by a 9-person committee that included several founding members of the ensemble, and was the result of the retirement of founding Artistic Director Richard Larson.
“The search committee is wholly excited by the many strengths that Joel will bring to the role of Artistic Director of Kantorei,” said Search Committee Chair, Kevin Gunnerson. “We were impressed with Joel’s artistic merits and found him to be a natural fit into the community spirit that makes Kantorei so unique. We are thrilled to have him leading the ensemble into the future."
Rinsema has served as the Assistant Conductor and President & CEO of the Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale for the past 14 years. He first joined the Phoenix Chorale as a singer in 1992. A frequent featured tenor soloist, Rinsema has appeared on all of the Phoenix Chorale recordings, which have earned the Phoenix Chorale a total of eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy wins. The Phoenix Chorale is led by internationally renowned Conductor & Artistic Director Charles Bruffy. As Assistant Conductor, Rinsema assisted in all aspects of artistic planning and leadership, leading rehearsals and conducting the Chorale in Bruffy’s absence, and helping program the repertoire each season.
“It is an honor to be offered this opportunity, and I am excited to be leading a choral ensemble of Kantorei’s artistic caliber,” said Rinsema. “They have experienced great artistic success over the past 17 years, and I look forward to building on that success to create a bright future for the entire organization.”
“We see in Joel an ability to take Kantorei to the next level artistically while using his vast experience to help us mature as an organization,” said Kantorei Board President, Brad Larson. “We are extremely excited to have him on board.”
Rinsema will commute weekly from Phoenix where he will continue in his role as President & CEO of the Phoenix Chorale, but relinquish his artistic duties as Assistant Conductor and singer for the ensemble. Kantorei’s contract with Rinsema is for an initial three-year term, taking him through the ensemble’s 20th Anniversary Season in 2017. His debut with Kantorei will be on their May 2014 concerts, and he will commence his position effective July 1, 2014.
Kantorei ushered in the holiday season with its concert series titled "Northern Lights", performed in front of wonderful and enthusiastic audiences at Saint John's Cathedral and Christ the King Catholic Church. The perfomance featured several beloved carols in addition to a new composition, "Northern Lights" -- an ethereal, beautiful, and magically-written work by Eriks Esenvalds.
TheScen3.org reviewer Robin McNeil was on hand and wrote of the performance, "The blend of the choir, influenced by the scattered placement of different voices throughout, was excellent. The dynamic range that [Interim Conductor Sarah Harrison] achieved from this fifty-two voice choir was superb."
In the featured work "Northern Lights", Latvian-born and internationally awarded young composer Eriks Esenvalds sets the music to depict the experience of witnessing the stunning and breath-taking aurora borealis first-hand. Of the work, McNeil writes that the piece "was absolutely outstanding...This is a very descriptive piece, and Justin Kerr, the tenor soloist from the choir, was spectacular in performance. "
Thank you to all who shared these performances with us, and to reviewer Robin McNeil for your kind words about the performance. All of us at Kantorei wish you the happiest of holiday seasons! See you in 2014!
Tuesday, December 10th was Colorado Gives Day! Colorado Gives Day is an initiative to increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day took place during a 24-hour period on Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Donations will still be accepted through ColoradoGives.org with a goal to inspire and unite Coloradans in supporting hundreds of local nonprofits.
Colorado Gives Day is an annual event that asks you to give to your favorite charities through the website ColoradoGives.org, an online giving resource featuring every nonprofit participating in Colorado Gives Day. On this website we share our goals, accomplishments and much more. While the focus occurs on Colorado Gives Day, the site can accept donations year round.
Donate online at www.ColoradoGives.org/Kantorei.org any time to “give where you live!” We thank you for your support of Kantorei and the choral arts in Denver!