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4/25/2013 Denver choral group Kantorei to make return performance


In Concert: Classical Music in the Valley is proud to announce the last classical concert in its tenth anniversary season with the return appearance of the Denver a cappella choral group Kantorei at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, at the Custer County High School West Gym.

The thirty-five member Custer County High School Choir, under the direction of music teacher Melinda Baum, will open the program with two numbers and then join Kantorei for the two final offerings. On the preceding Saturday afternoon, members of Kantorei will hold Master Classes for twelve high school performers. They will receive instruction in vocal techniques from 3:00-4:00 PM, and then after a short break, they and other interested choir members will gather for a wrap-up session. Ten of the twelve will return next year, and according to Baum, this is invaluable training for their various honors choir auditions in the fall.

Kantorei is returning by popular demand, their last concert in October 2008 having been a great success. The ensemble was formed in 1997 when a group of six friends with a passion for singing decided to form a choir which could sing a broad range of a cappella music. The group has grown to an auditioned ensemble of fifty-five singers from the Denver metro area. Many come from colleges with strong choral programs such as St. Olaf, Luther, Brigham Young, and the University of Northern Colorado.

Under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor Richard Larson, the group has won many prestigious rewards. They have sung for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) many times: at the regional Southwestern ACDA conventions in 2002 and 2010 and at the National ACDA conventions in 2003 and 2011; at the national Performing Arts Convention held in Denver in 2008; at Carnegie Hall in New York City (2003) as well as internationally by invitation at Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome (2007). Their first international trip in 2007 took them to France and Italy while in 2012 they performed in Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest and Prague.

This will be the last time to see Kantorei under the direction of its beloved leader, Richard Larson, who is retiring after their May 17 (St. Timothy’s Episcopal, Denver) and May 18 (St. John’s Cathedral, Denver) concerts. He will remain with the group as Director Emeritus, and they are performing some of his favorites to celebrate his legacy.

Larson has received many accolades for his work with Kantorei, including “Choral Conductor of the Year” by the Colorado ACDA in 1989. He was the first recipient of Luther College’s Weston H. Noble Award, which recognizes excellence in the field of choral music. Earlier in his career, as head of the Cherry Creek choral and orchestral programs from 1982-1995, Larson led his Meistersingers in performances at the 1988 and 1994 regional ACDA conventions and the 1989 national ACDA convention. There is no doubt that you will enjoy this performance of Kantorei under Larson’s direction.

As usual, there will be an art show in conjunction with the concert, this time with Sharon Langfeldt, award-winning local photographer. Langfeldt says she came to Westcliffe when she felt “called back to the peace and quiet beauty of our world and …moved…to the Wet Mountain Valley at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.” She adds that in her photography she “seek[s] to illustrate the rich texture of what gives meaning to [her] life, to share captured images of the beauty and mystery of our world and to immerse the viewer in the moment of the photo.” Langfeldt works in both color and black and white with subjects such as “Winter in Colorado,” “Wet Mountain Valley,” “The Southwest,” and several national parks. One can view her work atwww.langfeldtphotography.com. Her exhibit will be set up in the Great Room, just to the east of the concert venue and across from the elementary principal’s office. Attendees may stop in before or after the concert or during intermission.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults and $5 for students. They may be purchased at Candy’s Coffee or the Loan A Ranger as well as at the door on the day of the concert. CCHS is located on Main Street, and concertgoers may park in the west parking lot or in the main lot. Both the west door and the southwest door to the West Gym will be open. Doors will open at 3 p.m. with seating available at 3:30 p.m.

For further information, call 719-783-9709, or go to www.inconcertwestcliffe.org.