Six Cherry Creek Schools teachers will perform with the premier choral ensemble Kantorei when it represents the state of Colorado at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference, which will be held Feb. 28 through March 2, in Kansas City, Mo. They are: Sarah Harrison, Cherry Creek High School choir teacher; Paige Lewkow, Cherokee Trail High School choir teacher; Justin Kerr, Aspen Crossing Elementary music teacher; Shannon Lemmon-Elrod, Canyon Creek Elementary music teacher; Tegan Palmer, Campus Middle School choir teacher; and Keith Harrison, Cherry Creek High School science teacher (who is not pictured in the photo above.)
“Singing with Kantorei is something that gives us an opportunity to continue our life-long passion for singing and gives us the chance to perform with other talented musicians,” said Justin Kerr. He explained that many CCSD teachers not only have a passion for teaching music, but are also active musicians in the community who share their joy and love for music with audiences throughout the Denver metro area.
At the ACDA National Conference, Kantorei will perform two 25-minute solo concerts at the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts, one of the finest performing arts centers in America. Kantorei has also been invited to sing as a demonstration choir for acclaimed British composer and conductor, John Rutter. Rutter is a conference headliner, who will be honored for his illustrious 50-year-career in choral music, and his prodigious output of choral compositions and arrangements. It is expected that more than 10,000 choir directors, performers and exhibitors will attend the conference.
This will be the choir’s third appearance at the ACDA National Conference and its first under the leadership of Artistic Director Joel Rinsema, who joined Kantorei in 2014 after many years with the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Chorale. He is a passionate advocate for the choral art, and frequently consults with other choral arts organizations locally and around the country.
Kantorei auditioned to be a featured choir at the ACDA National Conference and was selected because of the choir’s truly outstanding work. The group was formed in 1997 under the leadership of Artistic Director Richard Larson, a former choir teacher at Cherry Creek High School. Kantorei is a premier choral ensemble comprised entirely of volunteer singers. Kantorei frequently performs at major choral conventions across the U.S., has toured around the world and works with composers and conductors of international renown. Naxos released Kantorei’s first professionally-produced recording, featuring works by Kim André Arnesen, in 2018. Santa Barbara Music Publishing Inc. publishes the Kantorei Choral series. Kantorei performs a broad range of a cappella choral music with the mission “to elevate the human experience through choral excellence.”
Kantorei will perform three local concerts in Denver before the group heads to Kansas City:
• 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 22 at Saint John's Episcopal Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., Denver, CO 80203
• 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 23 at First Plymouth Congregational Church, 3501 S Colorado Blvd, Cherry Hills Village, CO 80113
• 3:00 p.m., Sunday, February 24, at Christ Episcopal Church, 2950 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80210
Tickets can be purchased at https://kantorei.org/.
Photos courtesy of Dressel-Martin Media Works