Annie Larner

Jan 142021

Cantabile is pleased to announce the release of our virtual performance of The Lake Isle by Ola Gjeilo. In collaboration with Altius Quartet of Boulder and guitarist Gabriel Santiago.

A Note from Artistic Director Brian Stone

Art is a conduit through which we can experience and comment on the world around us. To those ends, we use music to help us understand and respond to the uncertain events and issues of our times. I have been proud to lead Cantabile through meaningful performances that lead us to wrestle with our struggles and rejoice in our gratitude. Today, I am so proud to present a piece that I hope brings you a moment of peace and solace in the beauty of our natural world, and the escape that it can provide. William Yeats’ poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” longs for days of tranquility and ease away from the busy and noisy streets of civilization. It is a feeling that so many of us feel today, and in Ola Gjeilo’s setting of this text as a virtual performance, I hope it might remind us of the beauty that is worth fighting for in this world. I fear there are still many months ahead of turmoil, but in music we can find some sense of peace, and perhaps draw strength from quiet corners of the world to continue the important work that lies ahead. I hope you find joy in our performance of Ola Gjeilo’s The Lake Isle. My deepest gratitude to Altius Quartet and Gabriel Santiago for joining us in performing this piece. As well, thanks goes out to Kevin Harbison for his help in recording the instrumental parts, and in being an audio editing guide to me on this project. Finally, thanks to Andrew Olson for his photography of the instrumentalists and Annie Larner for her help in putting together this beautiful video that features fantastic landscapes woven together with moments from our instrumental recording session.

Performed by Cantabile of Boulder, Colorado
Directed by Brian Stone
Virtually Recorded December 2020


(based on the poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats)

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


Cantabile // Choral Ensemble
Altius Quartet // String Quartet
Gabriel Santiago // Guitar
Stella Pradeau // Piano
Brian Stone // Sound Editing and Mixing
Kevin Harbison // Recording Engineering
21 Studios // Photography
Annie Larner // Video Production

we must sing

 Posted by on Saturday, November 7, 2020  The Choir Diary
Nov 072020

For a singer, singing isn’t a choice. It’s a compulsion. We must sing.

In the shower, in the car, nursery rhymes, the happy birthday song… every chance to sing is a happy moment.

For the choir creature, the highest form of singing is in harmony with others. We join our brothers and sisters around the world in desperate longing to sing with others right now.

As such, it is worth noting the creative, awkward, and at times desperate ways singers are attempting to sing together safely in this time.

Take one of our unofficial* garage singing groups, who met last week to sing in a parking garage in Boulder. The search for a public space with room to spread, favorable airflow and satisfactory acoustics is not easy. During their session last week, they had to compete with a jackhammer job!

(Bravo, crew!)

The choir creature will sing on. On Election Tuesday, another group met to sing in the evening. They put down their phones, abandoned their news feeds, forgot about division in the world. And for 90 blissful minutes they centered themselves on shared vibrations and shared meaning.

Choir singers need each other.

I know all Cantabilites are finding a way to sing right now, whether amongst themselves, with their household members, or alongside a favorite recording.

While we are grateful for any opportunity to sing, whether alone in the shower or together with jackhammer, it is no replacement for Cantabile rehearsals and performances.

The great irony of this season is that choir singers need each other more than ever. We need harmony, we need unity, we need shared experience and we need connection. Yet chorale signing is simply out of reach.

But we will not lose heart. We will persevere and find creative ways to overcome. And cling to those small moments of unison with something or someone.

Above all, we know that this season… this too shall pass.

Until next time…

Earth Song

Frank Ticheli

Sing, be, live, see
This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Through darkness and pain and strife
I’ll sing, I’ll be, live, see


*Some Cantabile members have gathered to sing and are self-organized and not formally affiliated with Cantabile.

finding a way…

 Posted by on Monday, September 28, 2020  The Choir Diary
Sep 282020

Contributed by a small group of Cantabile singers, the Garage Singers.

When the necessary reactions to COVID were enforced, the idea of not being able to gather weekly to sing was devastating. But the perseverance and careful caution of a determined few has helped me fight the isolation in a more expressive way than I could have imagined. It’s remarkable how our small group of vocalists has been able to transform a space so bland and industrial into one full of harmony and I like to think that the occasional passerby is enlightened by it as well.

Vaughn Erhardt Weiss

ich fahr dahin, wenn es muß sein

Choirs everywhere are prevented from gathering to sing during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the choir enthusiast and especially for a Cantabilite, this is like losing oxygen. We grieve the loss of singing together in person and performing for our community.

As an inadequate but extremely meaningful replacement, some singers have gathered informally in ventilated parking garages for distance singing. To our delight and amusement, we have heard other people doing the very same thing at the very same time, but one parking garage over.

I look forward to the garage singing time so much! It’s so sweet to be able to get together and sing, especially now that social events are so limited.  It’s lovely to hear everybody’s favorite pieces, and good practice to carry a part ourselves. The magic of feeling our voices resonating together is irreplaceable and such a treasure to me.

Michelle Fitzgerald

We often conclude our gathering with Brahm’s Abschiedslied, which always feels fitting. A love letter from us to Cantabile.

Nun halt die Treu als stet als ich!
So wie du willt, so findst du mich.
Halt dich in Hut, das bitt ich dich!
Gesegn dich Gott! Ich fahr dahin!
Ich fahr dahin, ich fahr dahin!

We miss choir, we miss Cantabile, but we know this won’t last forever. We will once again gather to sing as a whole… soon.


 Posted by on Friday, September 25, 2020  The Choir Diary
Sep 252020

This season of distancing has us reminiscing.

About times like when we stuffed the stage of Central Presbyterian Church with 100+ singers and dozens of instrumentalists back in May of ’19 to bring you the Colorado premier of Reflections on a Mexican Garden.

We had the tremendous honor of collaborating with composer Kevin Padworski and The Colorado Chorale to perform this sensational choral orchestral work. The work evokes mysterious images of a woman walking through a fragrant and lush garden and is set to texts in English, Spanish and the ancient Aztec language of Nahuatl.

Kevin Padworski is a brilliant local composer with whom Brian has collaborated on many occasions. And we could gush about Kathryn Radakovich, the amazing soloist who joined us.

So in case you missed it, here again is the performance for your listening pleasure.

Dig in. And volume up, please. This work deserves decibels.