On a crisp, late autumn afternoon, the sun and wind created the perfect weather for the season. People walked in this beautiful weather to the equally warm auditorium of the Redfern Arts Center to hear the sounds of two great KSC musical acts: the Clarinet Ensemble and the singing Canticum Novum. Conductor Elaine Ginsberg, who conducted Canticum Novum for the year, selected the songs to be performed for the afternoon concert. She said, “The theme for this program was from the very old to the very new so we have Renaissance selections and twentieth century and some other stuff in between.”
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The musicians all played on Sunday, Nov. 20 at the Redfern Arts Center as one of the last concerts and productions for KSC before Thanksgiving vacation. At around 3 p.m. the Clarinet Ensemble stepped on stage all dressed in black and readied their instruments. With no central conductor to provide any form of direction the clarinetists began to play their music after one player directed the rest to go. They played four songs, each with its own individual deepness and solo acts. Every player had her or his own chance for a solo, which was followed by a small break while the rest of the ensemble carried on. The band played for some time until the last note was blown and the audience clapped them offstage for Canticum Novum.
After a quick stage change the various members of Canticum Novum came up to sing their first song, “Autumn Tide,” which had the singers sing in not only regular rhythm but in eight-part harmony and ended with each singer singing in a wave of music. The last singer on the end of the line sang the lyrics, “The dying grass is in her hand,” which brought a very Celtic mood to the song. A more church appropriate song, “O Monum Mysterium” was then sung by the choir of singers. It echoed off the acoustics of the auditorium as if it were sung in Westminster Abbey. The song was a piece from the Renaissance, which was the same era as several other songs. The other set of songs were from the post-Renaissance era. The first song of this set was a love ballad titled “Rise Up My Love My Fair One” which was more about the message of the ballad than the tone of the singing.
The next song had an extra musician to accompany the singers in perfect harmony. A pianist began to play a sorrowful melody and singer Kirk Bobkowski began to sing his solo in “L’dor Vador.”This song was also sung at the Kristallnacht Commemoration earlier that month. Conductor Ginsberg commented on the piece saying, “It was part of our repertoire for the semester and Kirk sings it so beautifully we wanted the opportunity to present it to another audience.” When the song ended another song began and also included a guest musician, a violinist. The violin and piano played dually together for the eighth song “Festival of Light.” The song was a composition by Ginsberg and featured Dan Ciccarello on violin. Ciccarello commented on his playing saying, “The conductor asked me to play in her piece and I had fun.”
Ryan Loredo can be contacted at email@example.com