Celebrating spring

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By Kirsten Laskey

Music, laced with poetry, creates a weaving fit for springtime. It seems appropriate then, that the Coro de Camara is spreading out a blanket of flowery poetry and music, during its upcoming concert, which will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the United Church. The group will present the concert again at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe.

For the concert, “April Flowers,” Coro de Camara member Laura Erikson said, “the program is choral music set to wonderful poetry of flowers and spring.

“The poetry and music are both contemporary and more traditional. A lot of what we are singing is from 20th century composers.”

Several pieces are from song sets. In some sets, the choral group will only sing parts of them.

These song sets include Benjamin Britten’s “Five Flower Songs,” Martin Lauridsen’s “Les Chansons des Roses” or “The Songs of the Roses.”

The choral group will also perform Rainer Maria Rilke’s work and Williametta Spencer’s music.

Erikson said, the words are spoken. “The music is written to experience the poetry.”

Besides the music and singing, a slide show presentation will feature  pictures of flowers and images of the poetry.

Erikson explained Catherine Robinson, director of Coro de Camara, produced the theme for the concert. Erikson said Robinson tends to work thematically and wanted to do a flower theme for this particular concert.

Plus, Erikson said most music is set to text and often to poetry.

Celebrating flowers also seems appropriate for the springtime concert. “You’re looking at spring and the new growth that comes with that,” Erikson said. “Flowers are hopeful, positive signs of spring. There’s a lot of beautiful music about flowers.”

And what better way to honor the season than singing?

“Text, in my opinion, is the most important aspect of choral music,” she said. “It’s only music that has words to convey or a thought or a story.”

Erikson encourages people to attend the concert. “They’ll hear some beautiful music and that will be enhanced by the slide presentation.”  

Twenty-two singers are in Coro de Camara, which means chamber chorus. They come from Los Alamos and Santa Fe.

The group started out as an offshoot of the Los Alamos Choral Society in 1982. They were a madrigal group, or singers who imitated singers from 15th-16th centuries.

Soon, the singers decided to expand and broaden their repertoire to include choral pieces from all periods. Tickets  cost  $20 and $15 for students and  seniors. They are available from members or  at the  door.