HESSTON – The refined vocal excellence of Calmus, a German a cappella ensemble, will round out the 2012-13 Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts season with a concert entitled “Bright Side of Life” at 3 p.m., Sunday, April 14, at Hesston Mennonite Church on the Hesston College campus. Following the concert, HBPA will host a dessert reception in the Hesston Mennonite Church Community Center. Season ticket holders have free admission to the dessert reception and non-season ticket holders can purchase their admission for $4 at the door.
Calmus presents a unique quintet combination of a pure female soprano voice with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor, each a graduate of the renowned St. Thomas Church Choir Singing School in Leipzig, Germany. Together they have mastered the art of close harmonies to create a perfect blend of sound and precision, and have earned the honor of one of the most successful vocal groups in Germany. Their repertoire comes from a limitless range of music, from Renaissance and Baroque masters to contemporary choral and popular songs.
The “Bright Side of Life” program is named after Eric Idle’s popular sing-a-long comedy song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” first featured in the 1979 film “Monty Pyton’s The Life of Brian.” It features classical works by Heinrich Schultz, Henry Purcell, Robert Schumann, Benjamin Britten and Adriano Banchieri as well as popular a cappella works by Elton John, Leonard Cohen and Bobby McFerrin.
Calmus began as a men’s ensemble in 1999 shaped by the centuries-old tradition of boys’ choirs and rich choral traditions of its hometown of Leipzig’s musical heroes, Bach and Mendelsshon. As the group was forming, they chose to forgo the more recognized quartet arrangement and, inspired by the British “King’s Singers,” added a fifth member in order to sing more complex arrangements. Over time, the group’s membership changed, including adding a female voice in 2001.
Single tickets for the Calmus concert are available for $17 or $20 with discounts available for students and senior citizens.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 620-327-8158 (Hesston College) or 316-284-5205 (Bethel College) or visit the HBPA website at hesstonbethel.org.