From the Director: Heavenly Home
How does one speak to how the world has changed since we last shared live music with you? Where does one even begin? It seems almost easier to recount the things which haven’t been radically altered. And yet, even after all this time, I am once again thrilled to share news of our upcoming concerts with you. It is strange how normal this feels, and yet how precious.
Our 2021-2022 program, “Heavenly Home,” explores the complex joy of (re)defining home and belonging amidst upheaval. In a way, this season’s repertoire shares threads of our ensemble’s pandemic story, weaving together music that we had prepared to perform in 2020, music that we explored together virtually in 2021, and music fresh to this 2021-2022 season. Behind our performances this season are the ghosts of canceled concerts, of fear and uncertainty and Zoom and loss and isolation and the endless stream of heartbreaking changes we have endured. Behind them, too, is the love through which we have persisted.
“…look what happens with a love like that!”
In September 2021, we shared our first live rehearsal since March 2020. We had not seen each other for a year and a half. The absolute and overwhelming joy of being together again–changed, certainly, and yet still connected–was (is) indescribable.
This April, we will share our first season concert since March 2019. It has been three years. Perhaps there is nothing I could write to adequately capture the spirit of this moment. Thankfully, we deal not only in words, but in music too.
“Come to my garden…”
The repertoire we will share with you in “Heavenly Home” is both exhilarating and poignant. Highlights include Betty Jackson King’s stunning setting of Psalm 57, Shawn Kirchner’s beloved Heavenly Home triptych, and a host of lush choral works from across time and place by Shavon Lloyd, Reena Esmail, Zhou Long, Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, and Caroline Shaw, among others. Another triumph of this upcoming season is the long-awaited world premiere of Carlos Cordero’s “Garden,” originally commissioned to celebrate our 10th Anniversary Season in 2020-2021. Though Carlos and I could never have predicted the way events would unfold since beginning our collaboration together, “Garden” somehow speaks even more profoundly in the wake of our past three years. While we lost the opportunity to share our milestone tenth season with you, we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate our fittingly unconventional 11th Anniversary Season this spring.
In the wise words of one of our founding members, “our anniversaries go up to eleven.”
This season is first and foremost a celebration. Since September, we have celebrated the blessing of coming home to each other. Now, we finally celebrate coming home to you.
We are thrilled to welcome you again so very soon.
In love and gratitude,
Erik Peregrine, DMA
A New Bridge
We built a wonderful new bridge last weekend.
Thanks to a grant from ACDA-PA, Ensemble Companio was fortunate enough to welcome the legendary composer, arranger, conductor, and song-leader Alice Parker for a three-hour workshop with us at Swarthmore College. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our singers to receive guidance from a master teacher and luminary in the fields of choral music and folk singing. Alice opened her heart and mind to us, and led the singers with supreme generosity and authority in impromptu singing of folk music and in her own arrangements of American hymn tune Wondrous Love and French folksong Auprès de ma blonde.
This is Your Chance!
We’re recruiting tenors and basses for our 2014-2015 season! If you are (or someone you know is) a talented singer and love(s) to travel, please let us know by sending us a message using the form below. We can’t wait to hear from you! Read more
A Peek Inside Ensemble Companio
I came to Ensemble Companio as a mid-season replacement – an always nerve-wracking experience. Would I be able to learn all of the music in time for performances? Could I fit in with an established group that had already been working and performing together? At the first rehearsal, everyone in the group welcomed me with open arms, and I immediately felt like we were all old friends. The weekend intensive rehearsals have become a welcome retreat that I look forward to all month. And the music-making? In my 15 years of choral singing, both professionally and not, I have never experienced an equal to the quality of the singing we do in EC. I have never attempted to sing choral music from memory before, and now that I have, using the score almost feels like cheating! There is something truly magical that happens when 24 people come together to make music with nothing but Joe’s skilled baton between us and the audience. We listen, we communicate, we connect with ourselves and the audience in a way that’s truly exciting!