Latest News

Sep242012

Solo VoXX '12 Press Release




VoXX Changes Socks for Hunger

VoXX: Voice of Twenty is well-known in midcoast Maine for dressing in black and putting on serious concerts of mostly early a cappella vocal music. But in late September, members of the group will change their focus (and their outfits) to put on a completely different show. Called “Solo VoXX: Fighting Hunger with Song” the revue will showcase some of the many other hidden musical talents within the group. There’ll be some classical works (of course), plus folk, jazz, pop, rock ‘n roll and maybe even some audience participation. The concert is a fundraiser: a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to help feed those in need in Knox and Waldo counties.

The concerts will be Friday, September 28, at Northport Music Theater, 851 Atlantic Highway (Route One), Northport, and Saturday, September 29, in the Parish Hall at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 33 Chestnut Street, Camden. Both concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission will be by donation at the door; audience members are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or two to be donated to area soup kitchens. Refreshments will also be available for sale during intermission. Beneficiaries of money and foodstuffs will be the Greater Bay Area Ministerium (GBAM) Food Cupboard, part of the Belfast United Methodist Church; and the Camden Area Christian Food Pantry and the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland, both via St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church. FMI: www.voiceoftwenty.com; 207-236-9413.

Fans familiar with VoXX can expect to be surprised by the other talents that group members have been hiding under their black outfits. The evening will feature original works and improvisations by group members plus songs in the classical vein by Bach, Obrecht, Purcell, and Rossini, and folk, jazz and popular tunes by Stephen Foster, Keith Jarrett, Sy Kahn, Stephen Sondheim, and Ewan MacColl. Group members and special guests will chime in on guitar, percussion, piano, mandolin, bass, harpsichord, winds, cello, and vocals. The subject matter will cover hunger and plenty, love and loss, peace and change, and the evening will culminate with a group finale of Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluia,” with some special VoXX twists.
Music Director Gregory Moore said, “Last year’s Solo Voxx fundraiser was a great way to help a good cause--and to stretch our wings between our regular full-group concerts in July and January. There are no limits on the types of music members can perform, so the result is going to make for quite the varied evening! It’s a chance for us to fly solo, network with other musicians, keep our performing skills fresh, and, most importantly, raise some money to fight hunger in our own backyard.

VoXX is unusual in that it is a collectively run, all-volunteer organization. Membership is by audition (the group is currently seeking some new members!), and singers come from all walks of life: teachers and students, professionals and retirees. Members share the responsibility of bringing music selections to the group and can take turns teaching and leading. The group has built a strong following and has performed in many venues around Maine.

VoXX: Voice of Twenty is currently in rehearsal for its 9th annual late-January “Musike for the Nywe Yeare” concerts, three performances of works  -- many of them new to the group -- built around a theme of Winter Reflections. The concerts will be held during the weekend of January 18-20, 2013. One will be in Belfast and the other in Camden/Rockport (venues and times TBA). On Sunday, January 20, the group will revisit the historic Phippsburg Congregational Church to perform at 2:00 p.m. as part of the church’s winter music series. If snow dates are required, they will be on the following weekend. For more information about VoXX’s performance schedule or for an audition application, visit www.voiceoftwenty.com.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Jun162012

If Music Be.....


                   VoXX Presents Annual Summer Concert Series in July: “If Music Be...”


The a cappella vocal ensemble VoXX: Voice of Twenty will present its annual summer concert series titled “If Music Be...” to audiences around the midcoast on July 6-8, 2102. The self-led group of auditioned singers has once again put together a program of works that spans the ages from Medieval to contemporary and composers from Obrecht to Britten. The selections are both secular and sacred and examine themes of adoration, reflection, redemption, and, of course, love, with pathos and humor.

There will be three full performances of “If Music Be...”: Friday, July 6, in the gallery at Pascal Hall, 86 Pascal Avenue, Rockport (7:30 p.m.); Saturday, July 7, in the soaring atrium at Athena Health, 3 Hatley Rd., Belfast  (7:30 p.m.); and Sunday, July 8, as part of the Cushing Historical Society’s series, at historic South Cushing Baptist Church on Salt Pond Rd., (4:00 p.m.).  Admission to each concert is $10, tickets are available at the door. In addition, the group will present a free, abbreviated “sneak preview” concert/open rehearsal on Wednesday, June 27 at 7:30 p.m., in the Rockland Gazebo on Ocean Street (bring a chair or blanket for seating).

“We crafted this program partly from our core repertoire, which contains many fine works that we wanted to revisit. We then chose new pieces to take us through the ages into relatively modern times,” said Gregory Moore, Music Director. “Presenting works by composers such as Byrd and Palestrina -- and Monteverdi and Purcell, for that matter -- is expected for any group that, like VoXX, emphasizes early works. But we wanted to also showcase some of our more recent repertoire. Including the likes of Britten, Bruckner, Duruflé, Grieg, and Vaughan Williams accomplished that. It’s a challenging program for us and one we think our audiences will enjoy.”

Playing off the overall theme “If Music Be...”, selections depict varied emotions from unrequited love, as in Monteverdi’s Cruda Amarilli (“Cruel Amaryllis”) to the joys of romance portrayed in Purcell’s madrigal If Music Be the Food of Love and the more contemporary Evening Primrose by Britten. At more than five minutes in length, William Byrd’s five-part, Laudibus in Sanctis, the longest work on the program, is a jubilant, polyphonic song of praise from beginning to end. Some members have been singing this piece since the group’s name was Ave Maris Stella.

So many of the other sacred works on the concert have one thing in common--their titles begin with the letter A--that VoXX considered calling this series “The A List.” The stately Alma Redemptoris Mater by Palestrina, a pair of Ave Marias by Josquin and Bruckner, an iconic setting of Ave Verum Corpus by Byrd, Grieg’s Ave Maris Stella, the devotional Adoramus Te set by Monteverdi, and the contemporary finale of the program, the Agnus Dei from the Mass in G Minor by Vaughan Williams, round out the A list.

Several pieces on the program will continue VoXX’s tradition of presenting works sung by small ensembles within the group. The earliest work, Morely’s Miraculous Love’s Wounding, will be sung as a duet; Obrecht’s Parce Domine as a trio; Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus as a quartet, and Cruda Amarilli as a quintet. The singers of VoXX have also been honing their chanting skills: the men will chant Ubi Caritas as a prelude to the full group’s rendition of Maurice Duruflé’s setting of that text; and the women will sing an anonymous setting of Alma Redemptoris Mater.

Now in its second decade, VoXX has sung up and down the Maine coast, and performs two scheduled concert sets per year, in mid-summer and January, plus occasional special performances by invitation. VoXX relishes the challenge of unusual vocal music, yet more familiar works by such renowned composers as Bach, Dufay, Holst, Josquin, Lauridsen, Victoria, and Whitacre (not to mention Anonymous) are also central to the repertoire. The group mainly performs a cappella, but appropriate instrumentation (recorders, percussion, strings) is occasionally added.

VoXX is unusual in that it is a collectively run, all-volunteer organization. Membership is by audition (the group is currently seeking new members; see the group’s web site for details), and singers come from all walks of life: teachers and students, professionals and retirees. Members can share in the responsibility of bringing music selections to the group and may take turns teaching and leading if so desired. The group has built a strong following and is well known for its efforts to inform audiences through extensive program notes.

The singers recently released their first CD, VoXX: Voice of Twenty: “Favorites Old and New.” It is available at the group’s concerts and website, and via cdbaby.com. VoXX is available to perform by invitation. Visit www.voiceoftwenty.com or call 207-236-9413 for more information.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
   
Jan152012

7th Annual “Musike for the Nywe Yeare” Concerts: Palestrina and Friends

The a cappella vocal ensemble VoXX: Voice of Twenty presented its annual “Musike for the Nywe Yeare” concerts three times in January to celebrate the turning of the year. The group’s 2012 program was titled “Palestrina and Friends,” and was built around a core of works by the great Renaissance composer. As always, the midcoast Maine vocal ensemble had put together repertoire that covers a broad spectrum, from medieval times through the 20th century and from chant and polyphony through contemporary. They complemented the Palestrina repertoire with a set of remembrance pieces, works by several English Masters (Byrd, Purcell, Tavener), and, to brighten the mood, select settings of some infrequently performed holiday carols.

VoXX presented three performances of Palestrina and Friends: Friday, January 20, at Belfast United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast, at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 21, at St. Denis Catholic Church, 298 Grand Army Rd., Whitefield, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, January 22, High Mountain Hall, 5 Mountain St., Camden, at 3:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Admission was $10, tickets available at the door.

Born near Rome, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was the most famous composer of the Roman School of music during the Counter-Reformation, and his skillful writing has more than stood the test of time. His work can be seen as a summation of Renaissance polyphony, much as the work of J.S. Bach (also featured in this program) exemplifies Baroque counterpoint. VoXX presented five works by Palestrina: the Sanctus and Benedictus from the iconic Missa Papae Marcelli, the stately Tu es Petrus, the lyrical Sicut Cervus (a VoXX favorite that the group has been singing since its early days as Ave Maris Stella), and a pair of madrigals: Alla Riva Del Tebro and I Vaghi Fiori.

“We crafted this program around a core of Palestrina’s compositions, some we have enjoyed singing through the years and some that are new to us. Then we chose other contrasting and complementary music to take us through the ages to modern times,” said Elena Hamilton, Music Director. “Presenting a set of works by arguably the greatest composer of the Renaissance seems de rigeur for any group that, like VoXX, emphasizes early works as part of what they do, yet we wanted to also showcase our love of other repertoire.”

Other early pieces on the program continuee VoXX’s tradition of presenting pieces sung by small ensembles within the group. These includee Josquin’s Tu Pauperum Refugium and the Kyrie and Gloria from William Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices.

VoXX chose a set of works by English composers to showcase the mastery of that choral tradition. These included the rousing concert opener Coelos Ascendit written for antiphonal choirs by Charles Villiers Stanford; the Byrd Mass; If Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis; and Henry Purcell’s Remember Not, Lord, Our Offences.

Midwinter is a also time for reflection and remembrance, as exemplified by John Tavener’s stunning Song for Athene (performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales) and Douglas Guest’s For the Fallen. VoXX began work on J.S. Bach’s motet Jesu Meine Freude (BWV 227) last summer, and continued on this program with a rendition of Chorale Number 9 (Gute Nacht).

Then to lift the mood and brighten the dark days of winter, VoXX presented some traditional but less commonly sung seasonal works. Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day, There is No Rose of Swych Vertu (sung by the women), and Angelus ad Virginem (sung by the men) were contrasted with a modern setting by Jan Sandström of Det är en Ros (There is No Rose) by Michael Praetorius.

Now in its second decade, VoXX (formerly known as Ave Maris Stella) has sung up and down the Maine coast, and generally performs two scheduled concert sets per year, in January and mid-summer. VoXX likes the challenges of unusual vocal music, yet more familiar works by such renowned composers as Britten, Byrd, Dufay, Holst, Josquin, Lauridsen, Victoria, and Vaughan Williams (not to mention Anonymous) are also central to the repertoire. VoXX mainly performs a cappella, but appropriate instrumentation (recorders, percussion, strings) is occasionally added.

VoXX is unusual in that it is a collectively run, all-volunteer organization. Membership is by audition (the group is currently seeking a few new members, see the group’s website for details), and singers come from all walks of life: teachers and students, professionals and retirees. Members can share in the responsibility of bringing music selections to the group and may take turns teaching and leading. The group has built a strong following and is well known for its efforts to inform audiences through extensive program notes.

The group recently released its first CD, VoXX: Voice of Twenty: “Favorites Old and New.”. It is available at the group’s concerts and website, and via cdbaby.com. VoXX is available to perform by invitation. Visit www.voiceoftwenty.com or call 207-236-9413 for more information.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
   
Sep302011

SoloVoXX press release

Called “Solo VoXX” the October concert will be a revue that showcases some of the many other hidden musical talents within the group. There’ll be some classical works plus folk, jazz, pop, and even some rock. A percentage of the proceeds will go toward the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.

The concerts will be October 7 in the Parish Hall at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 33 Chestnut Street, Camden, and Saturday, October 8, at Northport Music Theater on Route One in Northport. Both concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be sold during intermission. Admission will be by suggested donation of $10 per person at the door; audience members are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or two to be donated to the soup kitchen.

Fans familiar with VoXX can expect to be surprised by the variety of other talents that group members have been hiding under their formal attire. The evening will feature songs by George Frideric Handel and Franz Schubert, Dougie McLean and Stan Rogers, and Stephen Sondheim and the Indigo Girls. There will also be original compositions and jazz improvisation. In a non-VoXX twist, a majority of the songs will be accompanied: group members and some special guests will chime in on guitar, piano, mandolin, bass, saxophone, winds, cello, and vocals. The subject matter will cover love, loss, peace, change, and the games people play, and the evening will culminate in an a cappella group finale of “And So It Goes,” by Billy Joel.

“We were lamenting the fact that we hang up our performing clothes after our mid-summer concerts and don’t get in front of an audience again until late January. One of our members suggested that each of us could prepare one piece of music, or help with another aspect of the show, and we could put on a concert that way. We didn’t put any limits on the types of music, so the result is going to be quite the varied evening! It’s a chance for us to fly solo, stretch into other genres, keep our performing skills fresh, and raise some money for good causes,” said Music Director Elena Hamilton.


Now in its second decade, VoXX is unusual in that it is a collectively run, all-volunteer organization. Membership is by audition, and singers come from all walks of life: teachers and students, professionals and retirees. Members share the responsibility of bringing music selections to the group and may take turns teaching and leading. The group recently released its first CD, and has built a strong following and is well known for its efforts to inform and perhaps challenge its audiences.


The full group is currently in rehearsal for its annual late-January “Musike for the Nywe Yeare” concert series, which will feature three performances of a selection of works by the great Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and some of his pals, plus some lesser-heard holiday carols, and a selection of music by English Masters. January concert dates and venues are TBA; check back here for more information.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button
   
Jul062011

VoXX: Voice of Twenty - CD Sale

 

voxx-cd-release

CD SAMPLES

 

BUY NOW

ONE CD FOR $ 15


TWO CDs FOR $25

Based in Camden, Maine, VoXX:Voice of Twenty was formed under the name Ave Maris Stella 10 years ago to perform early vocal music. The group has since grown into an auditioned ensemble that strives to bring high-quality a cappella works to Maine audiences. From familiar pieces by such well know early composers as Byrd, Dufay, Josquin and Machaut, to recent works by contemporary composers, VoXX delights in the challenges of singing a wide range of repertoire. The all-volunteer group is collectively run. All singers are encouraged to be involved in the music-selection process and to share in the responsibilities of running, teaching and leading the group. This is the first of what is sure to be many more recordings.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button
   

Page 1 of 2