Cantate Singers spring concert is April 14 in Kidron

Cantate Singers spring concert is April 14 in Kidron

“Show Me the Way” is the theme of this year's spring concert from The Cantate Singers, now in its 34th season. The concert will be April 14 at Kidron Mennonite Church, 3987 Kidron Road, Apple Creek.


The Cantate Singers, a local singing ensemble begun in 1991 by Freeman Lehman, will offer its spring concert titled “Show Me the Way” on Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m. at Kidron Mennonite Church, 3987 Kidron Road, Apple Creek. This is the group’s 34th season.

The chorus is composed of singers from Wayne and surrounding counties.

“The group sings a wide variety of choral repertoire in many styles and from many eras, performing music from the Renaissance to present-day composers,” Director Laurel Manning Labbe said. “Usually, once a year we perform an extended work with a chamber orchestra.”

The theme for this year's concert came to Labbe when she was out for a jog.

“I usually try to meditate on a theme that I think will be fitting for this group,” she said. “I was actually out running when 'Show Me the Way' popped into my head. I was thinking of the line from the song 'Down in the Valley to Pray,' and I thought it had the possibility for a concert theme.

“For me, the meaning is seeking confirmation that the path we are following is the one we are meant to be on, as well as a plea for those times when our path isn’t clear and we need some guidance.”

Following this theme, the concert will be an offering of short works including spirituals, gospels, hymn tunes and contemporary pieces. “The Road Not Taken” sets the words of Robert Frost's poem of the same title to a musical score including a cello obbligato that will be performed by guest cellist Max Miyashita. “Be Thou My Vision” includes accompaniment for two flutes, played by Cara and Kyle Krstolic. “Wayfarin’ Stranger” and “Loch Lomond” will combine the sounds of flute and cello.

“It’s interesting to me how our music is selected to build on a theme,” said Shirley Weyrauch, a member of the choir since 2016. “There is usually a piece or two that particularly speak to me, and evoking that emotion in the audience is a special moment of connection between the singers and those who are listening.”

“I hope every audience member feels moved in some way,” Labbe said. “My goal is always that we touch somebody’s heart with our singing, whatever that may mean for each listener. It could be about the text we are singing or about the attention to detail in our music making. Music making is good for our souls, particularly choral music, because the text opens avenues to many of life’s difficult questions.”

There is no charge for the performance, but a freewill offering will be received to support the ensemble.

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