Schola Cantorum Offers Monday Night Sing-Alongs
Los Altos United Methodist Church
As summer rolls around and choral groups take a hiatus until fall, Schola Cantorum steps in to fill the void. Over six Monday evenings beginning on July 10, Schola’s Summer Sings program provides an opportunity for Bay Area singers to join together as a community to sing some of the greatest choral masterpieces of all time. Without the commitment of rehearsals. Without the pressure of performing for an audience. And with no other goal than the joy of singing works from classical music’s finest composers under the baton of some of the top choral conductors in the Bay Area.
Participants come from as far away as Napa, Susie Conwell making the commute for the past six years. “I would love to be in a chorus, but I work the swing shift, so this is a gift to me. If you enjoy choral music, and possibly, like myself, don’t have a schedule that allows you to sing choral music, this provides the opportunity without a long-term commitment.”
For John Ehrman, a long-time Schola choral member, the sing-alongs are a form of feel-good therapy. “There’s something about singing in a group like this, feeling the mixture and the harmony of the voices, that you can’t get singing alone. As a bass singer, my voice will generate a certain number of overtones. But in a chorus, I can physically feel in my body the resonance from the other voices.”
Davie Rolnick, who attended last year’s Sing while on vacation from Boston, says, “There’s something very wonderful about a deliberate sing-through. We haven’t rehearsed beforehand, so it’s a particular kind of music-making that doesn’t happen much anymore.”
Initially, Schola was the only Bay Area chorus holding Summer Sings. Expanding on the original idea, they included a Messiah Sing in December, and two recent additions: a Broadway Sing in November, and a Valentine’s Day Sing in February—inviting the public to join in on the fun.
“We might not get the notes right,” says conductor Buddy James. The goal, he says, is the common interest, a great piece of music, and spending the evening singing.
The full program schedule:
July 10: Buddy James conducts Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem,” and Duruflé’s “Requiem.”
July 17: Jeffrey Benson conducts Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass,” and Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers.”
July 24: Shulamit Hoffmann conducts Mozart’s “Requiem,” and Fauré’s “Requiem.”
July 31: Gregory Wait conducts Brahms’ “Requiem.”
August 7: Vance George conducts Brahms’ “Nänie,” and Beethoven’s “Mass in C.”
Accompanied by The New Millennium Chamber Orchestra, James Frieman, Music Director.
August 14: Lou De La Rosa conducts Bach’s “Magnificat,” and Mozart’s “Coronation Mass.”
All Summer Sings begin at 7:30 p.m, and will be held at the Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos. Schola will provide the scores.
Cost is $15 general; ages 25 and under free with valid student ID. As a special savings, Schola offers a Sings FLEX pass: six tickets for $75 to be used as one ticket to attend all six concerts, or to be shared with friends over one or more concerts. Tickets may be purchased at the door, at www.ScholaCantorum.org, or 650-254-1700.