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Bion Cantorum Not Afraid to Take a Risk

Roy Engler set quite an ambitious program for his 16 voice chorus, Bion Cantorum, yesterday afternoon. In Soundscape Kaleidoscope, they sang in six languages and traversed almost as many centuries.

The singers began with several sacred or semi-sacred works such as the popular and oft-performed “Sure on This Shining Night.”  Then came what Engler wryly admitted were “songs.”  Among these was a creditable rendition of Eric Whitacre’s difficult “Five Hebrew Love Songs”, accompanied by Karen Gettel-Bell on violin and John Renfroe on piano.

A false start on that piece pointed up a technical problem. The mic for Bell wasn’t positioned correctly. Renfroe is an excellent pianist, but at times he seemed almost to ovepower the voices, perhaps because the mic picking him up was out of balance with theirs. When singing a capella, the voices, particularly the men, were strong and well-balanced throughout.

The afternoon included two pieces by harpist Ava Seusy and the “Flower Duet” by Regina Buckley and Sherry Campbell Bechtold with piano accompaniment by Barbara Goldberg.

The eclectic and enjoyable program ended with Copland’s rousing “Ching-a-Ring Chaw” and an encore sung by the women, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

For a chorus not yet a year old, this group has already come a long way.

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One comment on “Bion Cantorum Not Afraid to Take a Risk

  1. So glad you enjoyed the concert. We are working hard to present a different approach to choral music to the communities surrounding us. We hope to present unique experiences to our audiences. I think the love of singing good music shows with our performances. Please come to our fourth of July concert to hear more good music. One thing that we do not have in this area is a good music critic for choral music. Thank you for your comments

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