Due to the continuing challenges of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, the Una Voce Chamber Choir Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to postpone the choir's 2020 fall semester and 2021 January concert.
The UVCC is extremely fortunate to have incredible leadership, dedicated membership and extraordinary community support to weather this storm. The Una Voce Chamber Choir is not going away, and will return as soon as circumstances are appropriate.
Until we meet again, please enjoy the choir’s rendition of Ola Gjeilo's "Evening Prayer" featuring guest saxophonist Frank Mauceri from Sunday, January 26, 2020. The performance is presented with permission from Walton Music/GIA Publications
This is a very challenging time in our country. We have witnessed the violent murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Mr. Floyd’s murder, and the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other Black people are the result of a virus that has plagued our country for centuries – racism. We must all confront and work to dismantle the harmful systems that perpetuate inequality.
A plan forward starts with all of us acknowledging that we live in a country built on a system of injustice. What this last month teaches us is that silence is not an option; not for individuals nor for organizations. Each of us, alone and collectively, must stand up and be counted as supporting equality and working to dismantle institutional racism. Black Lives Matter.
Una Voce Chamber Choir stands with every person who exercises the constitutional right to assemble and petition our government for swift and meaningful action to repair broken systems and institutions which lead inexorably to the degradation and humiliation of our fellow citizens. We hope that this new moment of activism brings about long overdue change, and rededicate ourselves, individually and collectively, to help make it so. We are invested in doing this work, and committed to using our discipline and resources to make this future possible.
We commit to including this work in our strategic plan and defining further targeted action for our organization to take.
For more ways to take action against structural racism, please visit the organizations in this link.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the performance of "Ineffibility" has been postponed
“Ineffability” draws from a wealth of modern and contemporary textless choral music, with a goal of exploring a range of emotional responses, and creating a concert experience that is as variegated and moving as texted programs. Beginning imitatively, the concert will progress through a period of quiet introspection, before culminating with works characterized by intense human interaction.
This very act of exploration brings us closer to fundamental questions regarding the relationship between music and text. Why do we expect to hear words at a choral performance? Does text impart meaning to music, or merely a single point of view as to the nature of emotional response listeners should experience? The signature work of this program is the previously unpublished Concerto for Cello and Wordless Voices (D144) by Alan Ridout (d. 1996). Other works featured include Arvo Pärt’s Solfeggio, Jehan Alain’s Fantaisie pour Choeur a Bouche Fermeé, and Chanson a Bouche Fermeé and Hyo Won Woo’s Pal-so-Seong (8 Laughing Voices).
Join the Una Voce Chamber Choir as they present music by contemporary composers in their expressions of ancient texts often sung in traditional Anglican orders of worship.
Mark your calendar for " Evensong" on Saturday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 26 at 2.30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 1 Middle Street, Brunswick, Maine.
"Evensong," adapted from the traditional Anglican service of prayers and praise at day’s end, presents living composers who give new voices to timeless liturgies. Meditations are sung in prayer, in praise, in love both divine and human. A few highlights are the 16th Century poetry of St John of the Cross composed by Tarik O’Regan (b. 1978), a chant-like Lord’s Prayer in ancient Aramaic (the language of Jesus) by Ilyas Iliya (b. 1963), St. Augustine’s 4th Century Evening Prayer for voices and jazz duo by Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978), and the Virgin Mary’s praise to God in “Magnificat” by Imant Raminsh (b.1943).
Advance tickets are $15 for adults ($20 at door), $10 for students age 16-21, and free for children age 16 and younger. There is also a Family Ticket (3+ members) for $35 in advance ($45 at the door). To purchase tickets online, visit https://uvcc-evensong.brownpapertickets.com/
Founded in the fall of 2018, Una Voce Chamber Choir traces its origins to the critically acclaimed Vox Nova Chamber Choir, which concluded its ninth concert season in June, 2018. Directed by Virgil Bozeman IV, Una Voce Chamber Choir debuted to critical acclaim in its 2019 premiere season.
"Evening Song" artwork courtesy of Karen Adrienne
The Una Voce Chamber Choir concluded its debut season before a pair of packed houses at Saint Bartholomew's Church in Yarmouth on June 15-16. The Portland Press Herald reviewed the June 15th concert and the column can be found online here.
The choir is excited to announce its 2020 season, with concert dates scheduled for January 25-26 and June 13-14. Both performances will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick.
Una Voce Chamber Choir presents “Seeking What is Yet Unfound”, a choral program based on poetry by Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and e.e. cummings, on June 15th at 7:30 PM and June 16th at 2:30 PM in Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, Yarmouth.
The program features Randall Thompson’s Frostiana, a fresh but never simplistic setting of seven Frost poems; A Whitman Triptych, David Conte’s lush translations of Whitman’s journey to find soulful connection with nature sublime; and Eric Whitacre’s The City and the Sea, ingenious responses to e.e. cummings’ quirky vignettes of everyday life.
The title for the concert derives from a line in Walt Whitman’s “Facing West from California’s Shore”, explained Virgil Bozeman III, the choir’s Artistic Director. “The poet’s metaphorical journey westward, circling the world ‘inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound…’ relates well to what composers do. Why? Because both poet and composer undertake something like Whitman’s tireless and never completed quest to achieve insights into the conundrums, imperfections, contradictions, ironies, grandeur, even terrors, of being human.”
The American composer David Conte excerpts three of Whitman’s poems, “Song at Sunset”, “What is the Grass?”, and “Facing West” in A Whitman Triptych. Unabashedly tonal, Conte’s work blends arioso solos, which perfectly capture the grandeur of Whitman’s free verse, with fairly conventional harmonies written for a capella chorus. His settings translate the poet’s rhythmic speech and imagery into soaring musical experiences that intimate, as Whitman mused, “living Soul” in the sublime cycles of nature.
A master of form and modal counterpoint, Randall Thompson captures in Frostianathe deceptive simplicity and rhythmic clarity of seven poems written by Robert Frost, among others “The Road Not Taken”, “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “Choose Something Like a Star.” Thompson translates the nostalgia and vernacular language of Frost’s worlds into tuneful, accessible, but never simplistic choral writing. Melody and harmony for choral and piano voices capture sentiment and visual texture of the underlying poetry while subtly disguising compositional techniques and harmonic allusions deeply rooted in musical history.
Eric Whitacre chose five poems by e.e. cummings for his The City and the Sea. Each poem typifies the style for which the poet is famous—sparse language, wit, irony, and striking insights gleaned from city walks (“i walked the boulevard”), visits to the beach (“maggie and milly and molly and may”), and moonlit evenings (“the moon is hiding in her hair”). Though unusual for him, Whitacre’s musical choices capture the rhythmic eccentricities, contemplative moments, and sometimes jazzy urgencies suggested by the underlying poems. He innovatively structures the piano accompaniments around four-finger, mitt-like, white-key tone clusters which he re-imagines as unique, mood setting sound palettes for each poem.
Tickets cost $15 advanced purchase online and $20 at the door. Youth (13 to 18 years), $10; children (12 and under), free
Una Voce Chamber Choir traces its origins to the critically acclaimed Vox Nova Chamber Choir, which concluded its ninth concert season in June, 2018. When founding Director Shannon Chase decided to pursue other opportunities, the Vox Nova singers quickly reorganized as Una Voce Chamber Choir and appointed Bozeman as Artistic Director.
Artwork courtesy of Burke Long
Una Voce Chamber Choir (formerly Vox Nova) presents “Through the Long Night”, a program of winter themed traditional and contemporary music, on January 19 at 7:30 PM and January 27 (postponed from Jan. 20) at 2:30 PM in the Chapel on the campus of Bowdoin College.
The music marks transitions from night to coming dawn, and treats that in-between time as a metaphor for yearning, awe, and hope—yearning for divine protection; awe beholding the beauty of nature; hope for salvation and love requited.
“My first choice as the major work for the concert,” said Artistic Director Virgil Bozeman IV, “was Missa a capella by Einojuhani Rautavaara, perhaps the greatest Finnish composer since Sibelius.” Largely tonal, but pleasantly dissonant, the Mass features familiar harmonic progressions colored by “sound fields”, a term Rautavaara used for tone clusters. The resulting melodies have a chant-like character while evoking Eastern Orthodox rituals and earthy pre-Christian solstice rites. “What better way to delve into the mysterious, yet hopeful qualities that we northern folk associate with winter darkness and dawning light,” added Bozeman.
The program includes works by two other Scandinavian composers—De Profundis by Arvo Pärt, and Evening Sonata by Thomas Åberg, the latter performed by organist Jay Zoller.
“De Profundis is a striking example of Pärt’s unique compositional technique which he invented during long periods of self-examination,” commented Bozeman. This setting of Psalm 130 (‘Out of the depths I cry to thee, O Lord’) introduces male voices individually, then combines them in tension-building ways until all four together intone ‘for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption.’ Pärt lends powerful, full-throated assurance to those words, a conviction that lingers even as the voices gradually subside to quietly await redemption.
The concert also includes the Third Set of the Hymns from the Rig Veda by the English composer Gustav Holst. Featured among American composers are Eric Whitacre, Morton Lauridsen, Gwyneth Walker, and Daniel Elder. The program concludes with African-American spirituals, each of which express prayerful, yet spirited longings for light beyond earthly pain.
Tickets cost $15 advanced purchase on line at https://unavocechamberchoir.org/ and $20 at the door. Youth (13 to 18 years), $10; children (12 and under), free.
Una Voce Chamber Choir traces its origins to the critically acclaimed Vox Nova Chamber Choir, which concluded its ninth concert season in June, 2018. When founding Director Shannon Chase decided to pursue other opportunities, the Vox Nova singers quickly reorganized as Una Voce Chamber Choir, keeping almost all of the original group intact and appointing Bozeman as Artistic Director.
Virgil Bozeman IV holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Literature and Performance from Northeastern University, where he studied choral conducting with Joshua Jacobson and sang with the world-renowned Zamir Chorale of Boston. Holding a Master of Choral Music from the University of Illinois, Bozeman is the immediate past Chairman of Maine Music Educators Association District III and immediate past Vice-President (Choral Music) for the MMEA State Executive Board. In 2018, the Association named Bozeman the MMEA District III Educator of the Year.
December 16, 2018
Widely praised since 2009 for their performances of contemporary choral music, members of Vox Nova Chamber Choir have reorganized as Una Voce Chamber Choir under the direction of Virgil Bozeman IV, a twenty-year veteran choral conductor.
“New name, same great music,” commented Scott Miller, President of Una Voce’s Board of Directors. “Nearly all Vox Nova singers stayed with us. That brings an established ensemble with amazingly high level musical skills, not to mention enthusiasm, to Una Voce. I’m honored to help lead such an exceptional group of musicians.”
The choir of about 30 singers promotes contemporary choral music by composers from various regions and cultures, including Maine. Una Voce will perform mostly a cappella, but occasionally will be accompanied by solo and ensemble instrumentalists. While not neglecting choral favorites, the choir will specialize in intimate chamber music that employs complex chords, multiple rhythms, and elegant dissonances. Its members, many of whom are trained performers, music educators and professional choir directors, live in mid coast, central and southern Maine.
“In time, we’ll go beyond concerts in southern and mid coast Maine,” added Miller. “We intend to reach underserved areas of the state through audio and video technology and to provide educational programs to Maine’s secondary schools and colleges.”
Bozeman does not shrink from such challenges. Faced last summer with the decision by Vox Nova’s founding director Shannon Chase to pursue other opportunities, Bozeman opened discussions with Miller, an experienced actor, singer and leader of performing arts organizations; his wife Lynn Hannings, a bassist in the Portland Symphony Orchestra; and a few singers associated with Vox Nova Chamber Choir. In fewer than six weeks, the state of Maine and the IRS recognized Una Voce Chamber Choir as a non-profit organization and its first Board of Directors appointed Bozeman as Artistic Director. He began rehearsals in late September.
Una Voce’s concert season opens on January 19 at 7:30 PM and January 20 at 2:30 PM, in the Chapel on the campus of Bowdoin College. Titled Through the Long Night, the program explores night and the coming dawn as meditative spaces of eerie beauty, spiritual introspection and sensuous dreams, according to Bozeman.
“Continuity with the musical experiences we singers shared in Vox Nova has been my north star as I built this first program.” added Bozeman. “Scandinavian composers, such as Einojuhani Rautavaara, Arvo Pärt, and Gustav Holst, along with Americans Gwyneth Walker, Eric Whitacre, and Morton Lauridsen—these are the musical voices that weave a fabric of continuity.”
Bozeman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Literature and Performance from Northeastern University, where he studied choral conducting with Joshua Jacobson. In addition to serving as student conductor of the university’s Choral Society, Bozeman sang with the world-renowned Zamir Chorale of Boston, and was Northeastern University’s inaugural Gideon Klein Scholar.
He earned a Master of Choral Music from the University of Illinois as a student of Fred Stoltzfus, Don V. Moses and Chester Alwes. He also served as Assistant Conductor of the University of Illinois Concert Choir, the school’s top auditioned undergraduate chorus.
Since 2000, Bozeman has been Middle/High School Choral Music Teacher in Richmond and Senior Choir Director at South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta. He became the Artistic Director of the Greater Freeport Community Chorus in 2006 and currently serves in that capacity. An active member of the Maine Music Educators’ Association, Bozeman is Chairman of MMEA District III and Vice-President (Choral Music) for the MMEA State Executive Board. In 2018, the Association named Bozeman the MMEA District III Educator of the Year.