Stevensville High School Chrysolian Choir will join the Missoula choir Dolce Canto for a special “Love in December” concert at Stevensville United Methodist Church on Saturday, Dec. 10.
SHS Choir Director Kyla Morton said she is pleased her students get the opportunity to sing with a professional choir.
“Every few years Dolce Canto reaches out to schools,” Morton said. “This year they reached out to the Bitterroot and called me. I was so honored.”
SHS will sing a solo number and a combined song with Dolce Canto.
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“[SHS choir students will] get to sing next to adults who are no longer afraid to sing out,” Morton said. “They will get to sing with powerful voices and will think the experience is awesome, catching a vision of what they are capable of.”
She said Dolce Canto is a professional group comprised of community adults who also hold down other jobs and fit singing into their lives.
“It will show kids that music is a lifelong pursuit,” Morton said.
The SHS choir is a special guest of the Dolce Canto choir for the concert with guest conductor Julia Tai. Tai is interim director for Dolce Canto while the choir searches for a new permanent artistic director.
“The kids will love being directed by Julia, it is so special,” Morton said. “It is a big deal.”
Tai is the Artistic Director of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, the Music Director of Philharmonia Northwest and the Co-Artistic Director of the Seattle Modern Orchestra.
In preparation for singing in front of a live audience, the SHS Chrysolian Choir has worked hard in class and also gave a performance of the two songs for the Stevensville Garden Club banquet on Wednesday.
“I feel that they are really prepared and ready,” Morton said. “It will mostly be Dolce Canto but it will be a fantastic concert.”
Board chair and singer Michael Marsolek, program director of Montana Public Radio, said the concert brings connection. He is a 20-year member/singer with Dolce Canto and current chair of the Board of directors. He said the ensemble is thrilled to be working with Julia Tai for this concert season.
According to Marsolek’s press release, “[Tai’s] career has led to acclaimed performances and rehearsals with the American Youth Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic (Czech Republic), Brandenburger Symphoniker (Germany), Estonian National Youth Symphony (Estonia), New Symphony Orchestra (Bulgaria), Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM (Mexico), Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Charlos Chávez (Mexico) and the Seattle Symphony.”
Tai said that the choir ensemble hopes to invoke feelings of connectivity with the “Love in December” concert.
“This may be to your authentic self, the winter season, or to those you feel closest to,” Tai said. “December is often a time to get cozy, be introspective, and reflect on love—whether that be a romantic lover, love for our community, love for our children, or love of our extended family.”
She said music provides a catalyst for thoughtful perspectives on life and love.
“With songs like Jake Runestad's 'Let my Love Be Heard,' Daniel Elder's 'Lullaby,' and Eric Whitacre's 'Five Hebrew Love Songs,' Dolce Canto provides a jumping-off point for the introspection of love with the program 'Love in December',” Tai said. “Joining the choir for the December concerts will be high school choirs from Stevensville and Missoula. It is part of Dolce Canto’s mission to collaborate with and share music with other choirs and schools.”
The “Love in December” concert in Stevensville with the Stevensville High School Chrysolian Choir andDolce Canto will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Stevensville United Methodist Church, 216 College Street. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $7.50 for students are available online at DolceCanto.org or at the door.
On Sunday, Dec. 11, the concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in the University of Montana Music Recital Hall with special guests Hellgate High School Chamber Choir and Ellen MacKenzie, Director. Tickets cost $20 adults/$10 students and are available online at DolceCanto.org or at the door.