In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Richard Larson, Artistic Director of Kantorei, has been involved in community music and music education for over thirty years and is in demand as a clinician, conductor, and teacher. Named "Choral Conductor of the Year," in 1989 by the Colorado ACDA, Mr. Larson taught music both at the University of Northern Colorado and at Metropolitan State College in Denver. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a Masters in Music Education from the University of Colorado Boulder. Mr. Larson has studied conducting with Otto Werner Mueller, Elizabeth Green, John Nelson, Julius Herford, Richard Westenberg and Margaret Hillis, among others.
Formerly the Fine Arts Department Chair and Director of Choral Activities at Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado, Mr. Larson began his choral career as Music Department Coordinator and choral music educator in Austin, Minnesota, where he also served as music director of the 80 member Austin Symphony Orchestra. From 1982 to 1995, Mr. Larson led the choral and orchestral music programs at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado. Under his direction, the Cherry Creek Meistersingers performed at the 1988 and 1994 regional ACDA conventions, the 1989 national ACDA, and the 1990 National MENC in Washington, DC. His Meistersingers toured in Mexico, China, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Eastern Europe, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the British Isles.
Mr. Larson and Kantorei have performed at the 2002 Southwestern regional ACDA convention, the 2003 National ACDA convention in New York, and the 2004 Colorado ACDA conference in Denver. In 2006, Mr. Larson was honored by Luther College as the first ever recipient of the Weston H. Noble award recognizing excellence in the field of choral music. In June of 2007, Mr. Larson led Kantorei on its first-ever international tour to France and Italy, culminating with the distinct honor of singing for Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.
More recently, Mr. Larson and Kantorei have been featured in several Regional and National conferences, including the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention and the 2010 Southwestern Regional ACDA convention. In March 2011, Kantorei will perform by invitation at its second National ACDA Convention, to be held in Chicago.
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Review: Kantorei began in 1997 as a group of 6 friends who got together to sing Christmas carols. The group has grown to a 32-voice mixed ensemble, attracting some of the best vocal talents. From medieval texts to 20th century tonalities, the Christmas journey begins with "Star in the East," a suite of 3 dramatic Appalachian carols, accompanied by hammered dulcimer, including "Rise Up Shepherd," which was originally published as a slave song in 1867. Herbert Howells' "Long, Long Ago," John Paynter's "The Rose," a lilting, joyous "Sing We Now of Christmas," a lovely soprano solo on "Some Children See Him," a fine "Ding Dong! Merrily On High," Lauridsen's "O Magnum Mysterium," Rutter's sweet "There Is A Flower," a moody "Carol Of The Birds" and Robt. Young's "There Is No Rose of Such Virtue"-this collection welcomes the diverse spectrum of Christmas sentiment across miles and centuries. Beautiful and recommended.
Songlist: Star in the East, Long, Long Ago , Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head , Ave Maria Stella , The Rose , Sing We Know of Christmas , Some Children See Him, O Little Town of Bethlhem (Kenneth Jennings), Ding Song! Merrily On High, Jesu Parvule , O Magnum Mysterium, There Is a Flower , The Carol of the Birds, There Is No Rose of Such Virtue
Review: The perfect way to enjoy the holiday season, little tree features Kantorei's favorite live recordings from their last several Christmas concerts. Featured on recording are two wonderful settings of e.e. cummings' holiday text, 'little tree.' The first, by composer Steven Heitzeg, features the choir accompanied by harp in a soft, contemplative setting. Heitzeg's composition is contrasted by that of world-renowned composer Eric Whitacre, who sets the text for choir with piano accompaniment in a warm, joyous setting. Also included on the CD are several heart-warming arrangements of familiar holiday carols including 'I Saw Three Ships,' 'Away in a Manger,' and audience favorite, 'Silent Night.' Sure to become a holiday classic, little tree will no doubt usher in the warmth and joy of the Christmas season.
Songlist: The Exaltation of Christ, The Rune of Hospitality, Calm on the Listening Ear of Night, Gaudete, What Sweeter Music?, Sweeter Still, Little Tree, Somerset Wassail, A Stable Lamp is Lighted, Mary's Lullaby, The Hills are Bare at Bethelehem, Little Tree, Little Lamb, Ding Dong! Merrily on High, The Three Kings, I Saw Three Ships, Away In A Manger, Silent Night
Review: Pillars of Light is a collection of pieces by Rene Clausen, Morten Lauridsen and Eric Whitacre. Lauridsen's "Ave Maria" is absolutely gorgeous with its indulgent harmonies. "Veni" was written by Clausen for Kantorei and is premiered here. Whitacre's "i thank you god for most this amazing day" is a very tranquil setting of the e.e. cummings poem. All of these pieces are great examples of the beauty that can come from modern choral compositions. The warm rich often dissonant sounds envelop the listener.
Songlist: Les Chansons des Roses:, En Une Seule Dleur, Contri Qui, Rose, Do To Reve Trop Plein, La Rose Complete, Dirait-On, Three Whitman Settings (from "Leaves of Grass"):, A Noiseless Patient Spider, Quicksand Years, The Last Invocation, Lux Aeterna: III. O Nata Lux , Veni, Ave Maria, O Vos Omnes, In Pace, I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day
Review: Richard Larsen and his choir Kantorei have been garnering great acclaim in recent years and their latest release shows why. The lovely name of the recording "Small Blue Marble" refers to the world as it showcases choral music from around the globe including songs from Thailand, South Africa, Nigeria, Spain, Scotland, Cuba, Israel and many others. Larsen has selected some intriguing compositions that celebrates the unity and diversity of cultures thru choral music and the choir singing is top-notch even when challenged to imitate a variety of Latin American percussions instruments while navigating dense choral structures.
Songlist: Betelehemu , Cuncti Simus, Sugismaastikud, On Hilissuvi, Ule Taeva Jooksevad Pilvad, Kanarbik, Keine Feuer Keine Kohle Kann Brennen So Heiss , The Fields Of Corn Are Gone , Past Life Melodies , Ngam Sang Duan , Diu Diu Deng , La Villanella , Himne - Temmingh, Horizons, Vamuvamba, Loch Lomond, Barbara Allen, El Guayboso , Sim Shalom (Prayer For Peace)erg, Zum Gali, This Little Light Of Mine
Review: Denver-based 36 mixed-voice semiprofessional choir Kantorei has grown from a group of six friends singing carols in 1997 to a respected group that has appeared at Carnegie Hall for the National ACDA Conference, and been conducted by Rene Clausen in a premiere performance of his work. Esteemed director Richard Larson has been a major factor in the group's rise. "Home" is the group's fifth very good CD, and is a collection of 21 folk songs and spirituals. Picking favorites is not easy, there are excellent solos on "Let Me Fly ," "Dere's No Hidin' Place," "Ezekiel Saw de Wheel " and "City Called Heaven." Folk tunes "Black is the Color," "Danny Boy," and "Wearing of the Green " are wonderful. And we can't forget the four tunes arranged by the late Moses Hogan, "The Battle of Jericho" "You Better Min' How You Talk ," "I Can Tell the World" and "My Soul's Been Anchored." Another winner for Kantorei! Recommended.
Songlist: Let Me Fly, Dere's No Hidin' Place, Oh, Shenandoah, Ezekiel Saw de Wheel, Black is the Color, If I Got My Ticket, My Lord, What A Morning', The Battle of Jericho, You Better Mi' How You Talk, I Can Tell the World, Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child, City Called Heaven, I Got Shoes, I Believe This Is Jesus, Danny Boy, Wearing of the Green, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Amazing Grace, God Is Seen, Wade in the Water, My Soul's Been Anchored
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