Choruses/Performing Choirs

Intermezzo (formerly Intermediate)

In Intermezzo (formerly Intermediate) we keep children spellbound for two hours as they engage in communal music-making through rhythm games, chants, rounds, dances and movement. All the activities have an educational purpose, often without the children realizing it because they are having so much fun. Their young faces light up as they learn, play, work, and sing together. Intermediate singers receive 30 minutes of Musicianship instruction each week and are placed in either Musicianship A or Musicianship B depending on their level. Cantabile believes that music must first come from within each child and be felt throughout the entire body from their head to their feet and their hands to their heart. Engaging the whole musician is paramount when teaching a young child how to sing.

Grades 4-7 - Brief interview required by prior appointment to assess readiness.

Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ

Avanti (formerly Ensemble)

Avanti (formerly Ensemble) is for middle school students and high school freshmen wishing to further their musical experiences by learning a fantastic variety of advanced musical literature. Avanti rehearsals include movement, sight-singing and pitch matching instruction, as well as 30 minutes of Musicianship instruction each week. Singers are placed in either Musicianship A or Musicianship B depending on their level. The core of our activities are teaching choral singing and musicianship: note and sight-reading, solfege, singing on pitch, tempo and rhythm, music theory and performance and stage etiquette. Students experience the joy of learning advanced repertoire in a collaborative, team oriented setting that grows self-esteem and confidence. Avanti tours annually with Vocalise to national and international destinations, sharing their musical gifts with the world. Singers participate in three Cantabile produced concerts per year and enjoy a family potluck, retreat and the annual Cantabile Festival for Young Voices.

Grades 6-9 - Requires an audition, arranged by appointment

Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ

Vocalise

Vocalise is Cantabile's top performing choir and is usually for youth aged 12-18. Singers in this ensemble must possess exceptional sight-reading skills, aural skills, and solid vocal technique. Students will find this group to be challenging, rewarding, and exciting to participate in! Singers will perform many different styles of music: including classical, world music, gospel, and jazz and improvisation. The core of our activities are teaching choral singing and musicianship: note and sight-reading, solfege, singing on pitch, tempo and rhythm, music theory and performance and stage etiquette. Students experience the joy of learning advanced repertoire in a collaborative, team-oriented setting that grows self-esteem and confidence.

In the 2015-2016 season Vocalise became a combined treble and SATB ensemble that has both all soprano/alto repertoire as well as repertoire appropriate for SATB (soprano/alto/tenor/bass) voices. This means that boys with changed voices will sing in Vocalise as part of the SATB choir.

Grades 8-12 - Requires an audition, arranged by appointment

Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ

Vocalise Grand Prix Choir

Over the past twenty-five years, Cantabile has distinguished itself in its unwavering commitment to excellence in youth choral music. As our students mature and progress through the curriculum, we are increasingly seeing the results of this commitment in Cantabile’s growing presence in the international choral community, its ability to attract world-renown choral artists to compose commissioned music and to serve on our advisory board, and invitations for our choirs to compete in and perform at venues available only to international elite youth choirs.

Singers will participate in two mandatory tours per year: one short national or regional high-profile concert appearance and one international tour/competition. All current members of Vocalise are encouraged but not required to participate in the Touring group. Those wishing to be in the Touring group must confirm their participation through the summer registration process. Current Vocalise singers who choose not to participate in the Touring group will continue to receive the same rehearsals and concert opportunities we currently provide. They will not be engaged in the new Thursday rehearsals or any other rehearsals and concerts of the Touring Vocalise. If they wish, they can join Avanti on their summer tours. All singers joining Vocalise for the first time, commencing with the 2018-2019 school year, will be expected to participate in the expanded touring curriculum, rehearsals, programs and tours.

Grades 8-12 - Requires an audition, arranged by appointment

Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ

Aria

Aria is Cantabile’s select all-girls a cappella group comprised of some of Cantabile's most senior members. The group sings songs ranging in genre from baroque to barbershop quartet. Aria has performed across the Bay Area for private parties, benefits, outreach concerts, workshops, and even occasionally on the streets of Palo Alto. The group is partially self-conducted, with leadership and guidance from Artistic Director, Elena Sharkova and conductor Jace Wittig. Aria strives to foster artistic and personal growth through leadership and high-level artistry. The group holds auditions in the fall of each year, which are open to all female Vocalise members.

Click here to view Aria's performance flier

Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ

Bravi and Con Brio (formerly Vocal Training Group)

The Young Men's Division and the Bravi choir were created in 2013 to support the growing number of boys with changing and changed voices who are in Cantabile. We are committed to giving boys and young men excellent vocal training and artistry as well as great performing opportunities in a supportive and creative community of peers. This choir is expertly guided by conductor Jace Wittig and supervised by Artistic Director Elena Sharkova.

Jace Wittig, a former Artistic Director of the world-renowned Chanticleer Men's Chorus, is the musicianship and voice class instructor for the Young Men's Division, conductor of Bravi and teaches Con Brio

At the end of its fourth season, the Bravi choir has earned a solid place in Cantabile’s performance division with its strong sound supported by fine artistry and fantastic camaraderie. To expand musical and social opportunities for our singing men further, we have designed a new curriculum to begin next season.

Since the fall of 2016, Bravi singers perform with the Vocalise choir, becoming the tenor and bass sections of this treble-voices-only group. Bravi membership thus will be by audition only and will require certain skills in music reading as well as vocal development and flexibility. Students are evaluated by Bravi’s conductor, Jace Wittig, and may receive additional evaluation by Vocalise conductor Elena Sharkova for musicianship, music theory, sight-singing and other skills needed to sing with Vocalise. Membership in Bravi/Vocalise is possible in two ways:

1) Students from within Cantabile will be assessed by their instructors to determine when it is appropriate for them to join this ensemble;

2) Students from outside of Cantabile may audition to join at the beginning of the academic year.

Members of this choir are expected to have a solid grasp of music theory, to be able to sight-read at an advanced level, and to sing with proficient vocal technique. Vocal instruction in this ensemble is geared specifically toward young men in all stages of their voice change.

Bravi’s repertoire is TTBB (tenor and bass, three- to four-part compositions) and chosen to be engaging and musically challenging, yet vocally appropriate for voices in transition. The boys sing various types of repertoire including classical, contemporary, gospel, barbershop, and music from diverse traditions and cultures. In this friendly, supportive and group-minded environment, the singers are guided through the process of voice extension (“change”) while continuing to perform and developing strong, lasting musical skills.

Young Men's Division Information Sheet
Cantabile 2018-2019 FAQ