Happy wish-it-were-Spring to all of you. It’s time to think about June in Montana — bluebirds, bitterroot flowers, morel mushrooms, and … Helena Choral Week.
I’m really hoping this can be both a big reunion year, and a chance for a lot of you who have not yet made your way to this glorious part of the country to come see the glaciers before they disappear, bring your kids to follow in Lewis and Clark’s footsteps, and help us celebrate Helena’s 150th birthday this summer. There will of course be friendly people to stay with and great music to sing, as well as awesome beer and outstanding espresso.
We start on Sunday June 22, singing together for the morning service at one of the local churches — recently we’ve been at St. Paul’s Methodist, a joint service with the Unitarians and Congregationalists, and the big cathedral (google Cathedral of St. Helena if you haven’t seen it yet, and be blown away!). Plan to fly in on Saturday if you can arrange it (or come earlier and hike or bike or flyfish). Sunday late afternoon is our Welcome Dinner and Monday morning we start classes and lessons. Mini-concerts every day at 12:15 feature our guest artists (aka the section leaders/soloists/teachers), free afternoons, rehearsal each evening (except Thursday off, following our traditional PDQ Bach Thursday noon”production”), with Saturday morning dress rehearsal and Saturday evening concert. Sunday the 29th we’ll sing for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral, our home for the week. (Sundae Sunday after church!) Sunday afternoon is our Farewell Party — we’re planning to go back out to Lake Hauser again — last year was such a big hit! Monday morning you’re free — to fly home or go visit one of the parks (hopefully Going to the Sun Road will be open).
What we sing this year depends to a big extent on who is coming out!! Last year we did Jim Grant’s Listen to the Earth with a small chamber group (and tons of percussion). It was a big success — very appropriate for Montana. Our big piece the year before was Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor. I still want to do Frank Martin’s amazing Ode a la Musique, which we haven’t been able to work in out here yet. Right now I’m investigating doing Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore, with a local dance group. It’s a great piece, very cleverly done, and would bring in a family audience, which would be a nice change for us. Also looking at an interesting new venue (and no, Paul, it’s not singing in the Lewis and Clark Caverns!).
Please let me know if you are a) definitely planning on coming this year; b) thinking seriously about it and just need your arm personally twisted a little (no problem, we have plenty of people who can do that); c) not sure if the dates work out for you, but will look into it right away; or d) sadly, not able to make it this time.
Looking forward to seeing familiar faces in beautiful Helena in June!! (Please pass the word to your new singing friends too! And, we are family friendly.)
Kerry L. Krebill
Artistic Director, Musikanten (Bethesda MD) and Musikanten Montana (Helena MT)
Choirmaster, St. Peter’s Episcopal Cathedral (“The Episcopal Church in Helena”)
General Director, Helena Choral Week and Montana Early Music Festival
8 Park Place
Clancy MT 59634-9759
I GoodSearch for Musikanten!