Deborah Simpkin King, Artistic Director & Founder
An exploration of our maturing population. Ember takes a look at the unique realities and opportunities a mature life affords. Serving as the culmination of last season’s commemoration of the impact of World War I, Ember examines the wisdom and life perspective gained in their elder years by veterans of The Great War.
American composer Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, scored for mixed voices and orchestra, is the concert’s centerpiece, a work that both commemorats the lives of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and lifts us all into expansive perspectives on life. Like Britten’s massive War Requiem, Forrest’s five-movement work includes text beyond that of the usual liturgical Latin requiem.
Ember’s patrons are invited to contribute photo images of loved ones involved in the WWI conflict for possible inclusion in its multi-media presentation. Video clips taken from the Veterans History Project and other like resources will be featured in Joan Szymko’s powerful Be It Therefore Resolved and Jake Runestad’s evocative Live the Questions. Ember is delighted to be working collaboratively with composer/songwriter Cheryl Engelhardt and will present the American premiere of her composition We in this concert.
Ember’s annual holiday concert focuses on musical favorites that will warm the heart. Ember singers present such selections as “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “In Dulci Jubilo,” and “I Wonder as I Wander,” and invite audience members to join in singing familiar carols the whole family will know. Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s historic organ will be featured in the carol sing. Bring the whole family, and plan to enjoy holiday goodies in the undercroft following the concert.
The groups will sing several selections together including David Brunner’s popular “I am in need of music.”
The concert features Ysaÿe Barnwell’s delightful “No Mirrors in my Nana’s House,” along with “1000 Grandmothers” by J. David Moore, and works by Timothy Takach, Laurie Betts Hughes, and Ember’s own Resident Composer Cheryl B. Engelhardt.
Throughout the 2018-19 season, Ember explores various aspects of aging – on the individual and as impacts our society overall. In Carpe diem! the focus is on opportunities unique to the retirement years.
A return to simplicity – and the possibility of sharing its joyful wisdom – is the subject of this concert. Externally resembling some elements of childhood naiveté, the simplicity of the second half of life, deepened by life experience, is able to live happily with paradoxes, doubts, and mysteries.
Ember turns to the life wisdom offered by such disparate sources as Rabindranath Tagore, Ysaÿe Barnwell, and Stephen Sondheim among others – and draws upon the extraordinary solo talents for which the Ember singing family is known.