Ensemble Companio’s 2022-2023 concert season, I Flow / I Am, navigates polarities of faith and doubt, refuge amidst/within change, and the creative potential of the unknown. Featuring thought-provoking works spanning four centuries, program highlights include Sydney Guillaume’s masterpiece Le Dernier Voyage, excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude, shorter works by Moira Smiley, Adolphus Hailstork, and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, among others, as well as the Northeastern premiere of Melissa Dunphy’s I Am The World.
March 4, 2023 – Season Preview
St. Ann’s Episcopal Parish
Old Lyme, CT
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March 25, 2023
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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April 15, 2023
First Parish in Brookline
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May 13, 2023
Good Shepherd-Faith Presbyterian Church
New York, NY
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Merry & Bright was Ensemble Companio’s first-ever virtual concert, hosted on Sparrow Live and featuring solo and small ensemble performances of holiday favorites as well as festive full ensemble highlights. Sincere, funny, and heartwarming, Merry & Bright celebrated the spirit of connection that sustained us as this particularly difficult year drew to a close.
While normally EC members travel from across the northeastern United States (and beyond) once a month to rehearse and perform, EC was operating virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our ninth season’s concert program, Journeys, was a meditation on the creation of meaning—individually and collectively—throughout the uncertainties of human existence. A varied and colorful program, musical highlights ranged from Benjamin Britten’s celebrated Hymn to St. Cecilia and lesser-known works by Reena Esmail, Salamone Rossi, and Fanny Mendelssohn to settings of familiar American tunes by Moses Hogan and Jocelyn Hagen, among others. This season’s repertoire crossed through a broad spectrum of emotion and experience, seeking understanding through both the unknown and the familiar, ultimately calling upon us to meet all of our “fellow travelers” with the same hospitality of spirit that lends choral singing its transformative potential.
This program was not performed after all concerts were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensemble Companio’s 2019 concert program, Failed Saints, included the world premiere of two movements from Sarah Rimkus’s eponymous Failed Saints, Alberto Ginastera’s Lamentations of Jeremiah (his only composition for unaccompanied chorus), and Saunder Choi’s The New Colossus as well as works by Dunphy, Guillaume, Valverde, Runestad, Barnett, Paulus, and others.
Ensemble Companio’s first concert under the baton of Artistic Director Erik Peregine, The Greening explored the parallels between human experience and the cycles of the natural world – through darkness into light, through winter into spring, through loss into renewal. A blurring of opposites – old and new, sacred and secular, universal and highly personal – ran throughout the program; listeners heard works by Josquin des Prez, Edie Hill, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Dale Trumbore, Abbie Betinis, and others. The course of the program meandered through awe, sadness, and mystery to hope and healing, meditating on the myriad ways we ourselves are reflected in nature throughout the journey.
Featuring works by Brahms, Victoria, Rachmaninov, Ysaye Barnwell, Bobby McFerrin, and others, Hope is My Philosophy spanned a variety of genres including classical, spiritual, popular, folk, and world music.
Ensemble Companio’s final performance with founding director Joseph Gregorio was a concert of musical warnings, bits of wisdom, and morsels of wit from throughout the ages and around the world. Featuring works by Dufay, Gibbons, Stanford, Bruckner, Vaughan Williams, Kala Pierson, Alice Parker, Lars-Erik Larsson, and others, as well as arrangements of popular music by Bob Dylan and Francis Cabrel and folk music from around the globe, Warnings, Wisdom, & Wit is available for download and streaming.
Love’s Faces featured works by Arcadelt, Passereau, Stainer, Duruflé, Lars-Erik Larsson, and a commission by Vince Peterson; arrangements of popular music by The Beatles, Billy Joel, and Randy Newman; and folk music from around the globe.
Celebrations and Meditations featured the motet “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied” by J.S. Bach as well as pieces by Poulenc, Byrd, and Thompson; arrangements of traditional music from South Africa, Ireland, and the U.S.; and shape-note music from The Sacred Harp.
America Singing featured music by Valerie Naranjo, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Randall Thompson, Byron Adams, David Conte, and Joseph Gregorio; arrangements of American spirituals and hymns by Norman Luboff, Warren Martin, and Robert Shaw/Alice Parker, as well as shape-note music from The Southern Harmony and The Sacred Harp.
Ensemble Companio’s inaugural season explored sacred and secular music, using texts drawn from five different languages. Greetings and Farewells featured music by Billings, Byrd, di Lasso, Weelkes, Victoria, Tallis, Rheinberger, Chesnokov, Schumann, as well as arrangements of traditional Irish and American shape-note songs. On the strength of a recording of its debut concert, Ensemble Companio won the 2012 American Prize in choral performance.
A truly wonderful group. In addition to the technical near-perfection of blend, balance, intonation, diction, and resonant singing, there was an expressiveness so often missing from groups that strive to sing so cleanly. No safe, boring, pretty sound here. I was moved by their singing; I felt they believed in what they were doing.
Stunning…a group with a truly rare sound and vitality.
You turned our church into a cathedral! Thank you!
I felt uplifted!
“My favorite will always be sneaking into that church with you singing; the sound was incredible, something I will always carry with me…I don’t think I can fully articulate it.”