It’s difficult to imagine the challenge that an artist faces when they’re used to rehearsing and performing as part of a group, and suddenly find themselves in a situation where they must work on their craft alone.
That’s the situation orchestras and choirs faced all over the country, and the Denver-metro area’s Alpine Chorale is no exception. The Chorale — based in Arvada, but made up of people from Lakewood, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, Thornton, Centennial, Denver, Golden, Northglenn and more — normally has about 70 members, but the challenges members faced practicing by themselves or via zoom proved extremely dispiriting for many.
“It was tough at first for everyone, but we were determined to move ahead with our singers and not take a break, like so many groups did,” said Dr. David Farwig, the chorale’s artistic director. “It’s worth the time and effort, and it has been a lot of effort to keep the group together. We’re down to about 45 members, but the people who stuck with it have really committed.”
That commitment has paid off. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the group has done two virtual performances, one around Christmas and the other a spring celebration. But now the group is gearing up to kick off the summer with a free performance at McIlvoy Park, 5750 Upham St. in Olde Town Arvada, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 13.
The title of the performance is “Our Road Home: Emerging from the Pandemic,” and its aim is to create a feeling of returning to the comfort of the familiar and honoring those who helped each of us get through the pandemic, said Christa Geyer, the chorale’s executive director.
“I really hope people come away with those feelings from hearing the pieces,” she said. “There’s a lot of meaning to the pieces that have been chosen, and we hope everyone feels renewed that hears it.”
Following the McIlvoy concert, the Alpine Chorale will resume its regular performance schedule, which kicks off in the autumn. The Alpine Chorale performs a different series of songs (running the gamut from classical and Celtic to Broadway and pop) three times a year. As if to make up for lost time, plans are eagerly being made for the 2021-22 season, which Geyer and Farwig hint will include some exciting collaborations.
“It’s been extraordinary hearing the choir in person again, even if it’s not the normal size we’re used to,” Farwig said. “There’s an incredible energy, excitement and joy when we’re together. It showcases the synergy that there is between all of us.”
Find the chorale’s two virtual performances and more information about Our Road Home at www.alpinechorale.org.
Shoenberg Farms doubles as Land of Milk and Honey
Local stories don’t often make it onto the stage, which is why The Catamounts’ production of “Land of Milk and Honey” is telling a local story on a different kind of stage. According to provided information, “small, socially-distanced groups will travel through one of Westminster’s most historic properties, where the state’s agricultural, philanthropic, immigrant, and healthcare heritage once dynamically converged.” The show will include explorations of health crises, the Jewish immigrant experience and more.
The on-site, immersive theatrical experience will be at historic Shoenberg Farms, 5202 W. 73rd Ave. in Westminster, through Sunday, June 27. Performances are 7 and 8 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Get tickets at www.eventeny.com.
Walker Fine Art explores ‘Tension and Release’
Any creative person will tell you the process of working isn’t an easy one —it’s full of moments of joy and outright frustration. That push and pull gets captured in “Tension and Release,” the latest exhibit on display at the Walker Fine Art gallery, 300 W. 11th Ave., No. A in Denver.
The exhibit, which runs through Saturday, July 10, highlights the work of six artists —Jonathan Hils, Barbara Sorensen, Blair Vaughn-Gruler, Lee Heekin, Brigan Gresh and Melana Bontrager — and how they explore the conflict between the titular impulses. According to provided information, the artists’ mediums and styles vary wildly, but each work is thoughtful in its execution and in the conversation it inspires.
Visit the exhibit in person or via the online gallery at www.walkerfineart.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Flying Lotus at Red Rocks
For me, the music made by Steven Ellison (better known as Flying Lotus) lives in my head. That’s because I think it sounds best being contained in the listener’s ears by headphones — it’s intimate and disorienting in a way that a great deal of hip-hop and electronic music often isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it won’t breathe wonderfully in the majesty of Red Rocks.
You might know the musician from his work with some of the best artists of the last 20-plus years, including Thom Yorke, Kendrick Lamar and Erykah Badu. Recently he’s really immersed himself in film and anime, and his latest — the soundtrack for the Netflix series “Yasuke” — is one of his strongest yet.
Flying Lotus will be stopping by the famous amphitheater, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 17. Get tickets at www.redrocksonline.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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