Our ninth season’s concert program, Journeys, is a meditation on the creation of meaning—individually and collectively—throughout the uncertainties of human existence. A varied and colorful program, musical highlights range 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 crosses 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.
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.