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Winter concert at Shove Chapel a calming experience

The Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble will perform - Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season on Friday.
  • The Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble will perform Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season on Friday.

It's time to turn off the stereo, and experience surround sound au naturel.

The Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble (CVAE) likes to use space. Not content with performing en masse in front of an audience, the choir instead encompasses the audience. Their annual holiday concert, Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season, will take place Friday, Dec. 17 in Shove Chapel at Colorado College.

The ensemble's performances are often eclectic, built around a theme and then expounded upon. The ever-popular Wintersong program will feature a little taste of everything, from traditional to contemporary selections. Renaissance pieces will be sung alongside Brahms, Gyorgy Orban and African-American spirituals. Excerpts from the extensive virtuoso piece A Boy Was Born, by British composer Benjamin Britten, will also be performed.

Artistic Director Deborah Jenkins Teske believes that the environment adds to the musical presentation. Since she began CVAE in 1992, Shove Chapel has always been the site for their holiday concerts. "The kind of music we perform needs that kind of space. The music was written for places like Shove," said Teske. In order to utilize the chapel for optimal acoustics, each of the community-based choir's 25 members is placed individually in every nook and cranny in Shove, to create an effect that literally envelops the listener in music.

"There's a mystery about the place that you feel immediately when you come in from the cold and the candles are all lit," said Teske. "It has an Old World atmosphere that's very calming and inspiring in the midst of the season's frenzy."

That sense of serenity is what Teske believes will have a lasting effect on listeners. "Hopefully they leave at the end feeling that have in fact connected to something mysterious and timeless. That's what music is all about."

-- Kara Luger

capsule Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season with the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble

Shove Chapel, Colorado College, 1010 N. Nevada Ave.

Friday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Free; Call 577-4192.

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