Cantate Children's and Youth Choir is an organization dedicated to bringing the live rendering of quality choral music to the children and youth of Central Virginia. Actively taking part in the cultural life of the region, the choir of thirty-plus boys and girls Pronunciation...
The name "Cantate" - Latin for "let us sing" - is pronounced similarly to the more well-known musical term "cantata" but with the final "e" sounding like "eh" or "ay". (Pronunciation in English can be heard at this link. Someone, please tell Siri!)from second grade through high school is headquartered at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lynchburg, with Peggy Haas Howell as the Music Director and Conductor and Elizabeth Wilkinson as Assistant Director and Accompanist. The 2023-2024 year is Cantate's thirty-first season.
The primary source of funding is a tuition charge of $150.00 per chorister per semester. (The Board of Trustees sets the amount.) A grant from The Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation for the 2023-2024 year has made it possible to offer scholarships. Joining the choir is contingent on an audition, which provides an informal but at the same time vital opportunity for both the Director and the singer to discover how the new voice can be "kneaded" into the group. Experience confirms that while some children jump at the chance to sing in the choir, others can be more reticent at first. With hindsight, it often turns out that individuals who haven't previously thought of themselves as singers do eventually become cherished choir members. From time to time, and by arrangement with the Director, new singers can come to a few rehearsals and mainly just listen, before making a commitment. Further information may be found on the "FAQ" page which was added with the 2017-2018 season.
The benefits of singing in a choir like Cantate have been studied by focus groups, such as Chorus America. They include developing life-long musical literacy, as well as striving together in what may be characterized as an ensemble or team. Each chorister receives training in proper vocal production, note reading, and musical interpretation of many great musical classics. No two seasons are the same. The repertoire sung includes many styles and traditions, such as Renaissance madrigals, African works, a Serbian-Gypsy dance song, American folk music and newly composed works. Most music is performed in original languages. The group rehearses on Mondays from 4:30 until 6:30 pm (exact times subject to change) in two semesters from September through May. A number of choristers continue with the choir for as many years as they possibly can.
Particulars of forthcoming and recent concerts are shown on the Events page. Events of concluded years reaching back to the one of 2014-2015 are also shown there. A summary of the events of the year 2013-2014 is on a separate page at this link. Special among that year's events was participation in the bicentennial Flag Day celebrations in Washington, D.C.