(Prepared for the Sootoday Arts Page by Marian MacLeod and James Warner-Smith)
Collaborations have been a very successful part of the history of the Chamber Singers of Algoma and that tradition continues in the choir's upcoming year. Rehearsals began last week for an ambitious schedule of performances by the Chamber Singers in 2004 - 2005.
The choir comes into this season on the heels of a concert tour of the Czech Republic in June. The choir along with soloists Sarah Gartshore and Eric Shaw performed at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture at the 47th Festival of Choral Arts, packing churches in Jihlava and Nymburk for performances of Dvorak's Mass in D as well as Jubilate Deo, choir member Marian MacLeod's award winning composition.
The choir opens its season at the Algoma Fall Festival Sunday, October 24th with a 3:00 pm presentation at St. Luke's Cathedral entitled "Magnificats." There are
hundreds of settings of this beautiful canticle from Mediaeval times to the present day. The Chamber Singers directed by Patty Gartshore will present versions by
Praetorius, Monteverdi, Buxtehude, Puccini, Pinkham and Avro Part. Tickets for this Algoma Fall Festival performance are available through the Theatre Centre Box Office in Station Mall.
Saturday, November 6th, the Chamber Singers make their second appearance at the Algoma Fall Festival along with the Sault Symphony Orchestra, the Algoma Festival Choir, actor Jack Weatherall and Richard Kim's "Studio Dance Arts in "Shakespeare and Music."
Saturday, December 11, the Chamber Singers and the Sault Symphony come together for the annual performance of Handel's great oratorio "Messiah." This performance
features an "all-star team" of soloists with roots in Sault Ste. Marie. Soprano Sarah Gartshore, a rising star on the Chicago opera scene will be joined by Amanda
Nelli a young contralto now living and studying in Ottawa, as well as renown Canadian tenor Eric Shaw and "the singing policeman," baritone Lyndon Slewidge who not only entertains music lovers on the stages of the nations capitol but also presents the National Hockey Leagues finest rendition of O Canada before most Ottawa Senators games.
The season continues Saturday, April 30 at the Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre with a joint Chamber Singers - Sault Symphony presentation of Carl Orff's tremendous
contemporary work "Carmina Burana"
The Chamber Singers season closes on a lighter note Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 at St. Andrews United Church with the choir's annual Gilbert and Sullivan cabaret presentation, this year featuring HMS Pinafore.