Katja Stokley

May 062021
 

From soprano Carol Nielsen:

In our family when I was growing up, we sang in school and church choirs but also played instruments in the school band in our small town in Minnesota (think Lake Wobegon). Among the five of us, we played flute, trumpet, french horn, trombone and clarinet (my instrument). I loved playing band music with winds, percussion and especially the brass. Because of these experiences, in addition to finding joy in singing and choral music, I am drawn to instrumental music.

As I have been listening to choir music and some beloved pieces during this time of choral isolation, I ran across a version of one of my favorite choral pieces—played by the University of Michigan Trombone Ensemble. These musicians capture the beauty, emotion and nuance of the piece, but in a different way from voices of a choir.

I hope you enjoy this alternate version of a beautiful piece, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen.

Here is a lovely choral version from The Singers:

Coming This Spring: I Will Sing!

 Posted by on Wednesday, March 24, 2021  The Choir Diary
Mar 242021
 

We are pleased to announce that Cantabile will soon release our Spring 2021 virtual performance, I Will Sing! These three songs mirror our choral experience in this pandemic—an arc moving from loss to remembrance to joyous hope.

Choirs everywhere have found new ways to make music and reach audiences but this has not replaced what we truly love about singing. More than anything else, this innovation in performance was born out of the deep grief we have felt from the loss of being able to make music together, side by side. Cantabile’s spring virtual performance reflects the arc of emotion that singers everywhere felt: the loss at the beginning of the pandemic; the remembrance that stokes our hope; and the excitement for a joyous return to singing together in the coming year.

Our virtual performance will be released in May. Check back for details or follow The Choir Diary to be informed of releases!

The Lake Isle Project: The Future

 Posted by on Tuesday, February 23, 2021  The Choir Diary
Feb 232021
 

The FutureArtistic Director Brian Stone:

How will [the experience of putting together The Lake Isle] change my conducting? When I conduct I know where the challenging bits are for the performers, at what spots I need to be listening and where I need to be helpful, so I am as much of a resource as possible. Compiling a piece like this is done with a layering effect. After listening to every line and every performer’s recording, all of the relationships in Lake isle are so clear to me now. So, to that end, this process has impressed upon me how important it is for me to understand the intricacies of a piece of music…I will be curious to see how my ears have changed. I think that I will be using this different kind of listening when we perform together again. I will be a more detailed listener but also have a larger appreciation of the whole piece, and I will be looking at that throughout the practicing process.

Learn more about the Lake Isle Project and listen to Cantabile’s virtual performance along with the Altius Quartet and Gabriel Santiago, guitar.

The Lake Isle Project: We’re Not Alone

 Posted by on Sunday, February 21, 2021  The Choir Diary
Feb 212021
 

“I hoped that a project like this would be inspiring because there are others feeling the same way were are,” explains Artistic Director Brian Stone.

We talk about how we miss singing together…Connecting with one another through this struggle is especially important. But if we can open that up even further there is even another level of “I’m not alone, we’re not alone,” which is really what we need in this time. We need for people to connect with people and relate to each other. Lake Isle seems to get say “Yes, I’m feeling that too, but I know I’m not alone.” That’s really important.

Learn more about the Lake Isle Project and listen to Cantabile’s virtual performance along with the Altius Quartet and Gabriel Santiago, guitar.

The Lake Isle Project: We’re Not Alone

 Posted by on Friday, February 19, 2021  The Choir Diary
Feb 192021
 

We are not AloneWhy did Artistic Director Brian Stone pick The Lake Isle to record virtually?

I picked this piece because we all loved singing this music in concert with Altius [last year]. Our singers connected with it…and we connected with the other musicians in performance. When we meet at our virtual rehearsals during the pandemic, we talk about how we miss singing together, so I knew that we would connect now because we are all struggling with this new paradigm of being alone.

Learn more about the Lake Isle Project and listen to Cantabile’s virtual performance along with the Altius Quartet and Gabriel Santiago, guitar.

The Lake Isle Project: Knitting it all Together

 Posted by on Wednesday, February 17, 2021  The Choir Diary
Feb 172021
 

Knitting the Voices TogetherArtistic Director Brian Stone worked countless hours compiling the individual performances that make up this virtual performance, sewing the layers of instrumental accompaniment together with the unique qualities of each individual singer’s track.

The voices are all lovely…and I am truly not just saying that. It’s lovely to add everyone’s voice individually. Each one has a lot of beauty. The process is lonely, but it is really heartening, especially at the end when everybody is knitted together, and hear the fabric of everyone all together. You hear it in a way that you don’t hear in person.

Learn more about the Lake Isle Project and listen to Cantabile’s virtual performance along with the Altius Quartet and Gabriel Santiago, guitar.