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The Eastern Chamber Singers to Tour Upstate New York and Montreal

Published on March 01, 2017

The Eastern Chamber Singers to Tour Upstate New York and Montreal

The Eastern Chamber Singers, the premier vocal ensemble at Eastern Connecticut State University, will embark on its annual spring tour this March, performing twice in upstate New York and once in Montreal. In its tour titled "Poetry and Praise," the Chamber Singers will present music that spans 400 years of history from both secular and sacred traditions.

The ensemble will perform March 9 in East Greenbush, NY, at the First United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. (1 Gilligan Rd., E. Greenbush, NY); March 10 in Oswego, NY, at Saint Mary's Church at 7 p.m. (103 West 7th St., Oswego, NY); and March 13 in Montreal at Basilique Notre-Dame at 10:30 a.m. (110 Notre-Dame St., W. Montreal, Canada).

"Poetry and Praise" will be divided into two halves; the first featuring music dealing with topics of nature, the second examining various texts about devotion and praise from a sacred perspective. "Equally expressive, both halves of the program will enlighten, inform and entertain audience members!" said David Belles, conductor of the Chamber Singers and music professor at Eastern.

The tour is also noteworthy because it travels to towns where Belles studied as a young man: Columbia High School in East Greenbush (class of 1988) and the State University of New York at Oswego (class of 1992). "Having the opportunity to travel back to my roots, to see the teachers who inspired me so, and to share it with my current students is indescribable!" said Belles, who joined Eastern in 2002 and conducts several ensembles in addition to teaching voice, conducting and choral literature. "As we prepare for the tour, I can't tell who is more excited and nervous, me or my students!"

Relating Eastern's music program to those of his upbringing, Belles added, "The impetus of this tour is an effort to close the loop for current students in the ensemble, and show them how they fit into a very large family tree of educators, friends and family.

The Chamber Singers is composed of auditioned singers from various departments across Eastern. Repertoire performed by the ensemble encompasses chamber music from more than four centuries. The Chamber Singers' annual spring tour serves to bring its music beyond the boundaries of the university, enrich the musical lives of audiences near and far, and enhance the cultural experience for Eastern students. Recent members of the ensemble have performed in such destinations as Montreal, Maryland, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, New York City's Carnegie Hall and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Written by Michael Rouleau

Categories: Music