Governor Steve Bullock has designated the Montana A Cappella Society Montana’s “Ambassador of Song.”
The choir will perform in the Hamilton Performing Arts Center, Saturday, Dec. 15.
The Bitterroot Baroque, led by Ingrid Matthews, will perform the first half of the free community performance.
In a recent letter to MACS artistic director Don Matlock, Governor Bullock congratulated the Montana A Cappella Society on receiving the invitation to perform at the Tuscany Choral Festival next June and recognized them as Montana’s “Ambassador of Song.”
“The Montana A Cappella Society embodies the Montana spirit of generosity by contributing their time and talent to support the efforts of other nonprofit organizations and bring joy and a smile to underserved communities,” Bullock said. “Over the past 15 years, you have championed what is good and beautiful about Montana from coast to coast and internationally.”
Bullock said the Montana A Cappella Society has represented Montana honorable in their travels and encouraged folks to visit Montana through the gift of music.
“In doing so, Montana A Cappella Society is recognized as the Montana ‘Ambassador of Song,’” Bullock said. “On behalf of all Montanans, I offer my best wishes for success on your trip and I thank you for bringing the international language of music [to] people across the world.”
Matlock said the letter from the governor was a total surprise.
“We are honored to be recognized for what we have always tried to do - represent all that is good and wonderful about Montana,” he said. “We love to share with audiences and really treasure the times when we can bring joy to people that may not have much.”
The Montana A Cappella Society formed in 2003 to promote public awareness and audience appreciation for the art for a cappella singing (voices without instrumental accompaniment).
The Society's musical selections range from early motets and renaissance madrigals to classic love songs, gospels, folk, patriotic, contemporary and vocal jazz. They add new arrangements each season, written by the artistic director, who claims the group performs only popular music - any piece that was popular somewhere in the world during the past six centuries.
The Society is an all-volunteer organization of nonprofessional singers, representing a cross section of the community from varied musical backgrounds, occupations and ages. They have sung in San Francisco, Washington D.C. — for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, and attended the Cork International Choral Festival in Ireland.
The group has been invited to the Tuscany Choral Festival in Italy in June and is practicing and gathering funds. Fundraising includes selling raffle tickets with the winner receiving two tickets to join their group on this fabulous Italian adventure.
Current singers are: Bass — Peter Allen, Galen Magnuson, Doug McConnaha and Tayln Lang; tenor — Dan Hooten, Dave Brown, Scott Southwick and Roger deHay; alto — Pam Crowley, Rachel Huls, Julie Huls, Tatum Breedlove, Terry Ryan and Michelle McConnaha; Soprano — Debra Kehoe, Breanna Hatch, Courtney Neuschwander, Casey Trihey, Reyanna Rice and Paula Carney.
Tomorrow’s “A Very Special Christmas” concert has favorite Christmas songs and a debut performance of “This is the Moment” that they will open the festival with in Italy.
The Bitterroot Baroque will open the concert and feature Ingrid Matthews one of today’s most respected baroque violinists.
Matthews is internationally known and appreciated. She won first prize in the prestigious Erwin Bodky International Competition for Early Music in 1989, and in 1990 joined Toronto’s Tafelmusik and performed with them at the Proms and the Barbican Center of London, the Stuttgart and Festival, the Utrecht Festival and the Mostly Mozart Festival of New York.
She worked with many other leading North American period instrument ensembles as well, including Philharmonia Baroque of San Francisco, Joshua Rifkin’s Bach Ensemble of New York, and the American Bach Soloists of San Francisco.
In 1994 she founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra with harpsichordist Byron Schenkman and served as its Music Director for 19 years.
Matthews was first violinist of the celebrated group La Luna and is the new violinist for esteemed San Francisco Bay area ensemble Musica Pacifica.
Matthews is a graduate of Indiana University and also plays jazz, swing and is active as a visual artist.
For a full biography visit http://www.ingridmatthews.com/promoters/index.html.
For Saturday’s performance the Bitterroot Baroque will play music by four different composers: Purcell — Chaconne from King Arthur; Biber — Sonata IV from Sonatae tam aris quam servientes; Corrette — Symphonie de Noel; and Bach — Brandenburg IV.
Attend the free performance of The Montana A Cappella Society and Bitterroot Baroque featuring Ingrid Matthews at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Bitterroot Performing Arts Center, 327 Fairgrounds Road in Hamilton.
Upcoming events for the Montana A Cappella Society include First Night 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 at the University of Montana Recital Hall and “Sweethearts in Italy” a dessert, wine and cheese pairing to be arranged.
The Montana A Cappella Society is a nonprofit, public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation and donations can be sent to P.O. Box 1468, Hamilton, Montana 59840. Visit www.mtacappella.com for more information.