Dawn: Dolce Canto celebrates return of light

Acclaimed vocal ensemble returns to the stage Dec. 12 in Missoula

On Stage

Dolce Canto – Missoula’s premier vocal ensemble – returns to the stage Dec. 12 with their first formal concert since the beginning of the pandemic. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in the University of Montana’s Music Recital Hall.

Dolce Canto Artistic Director Yong Mao was able to direct the choir from afar using an internet platform designed for singing groups.
Dolce Canto Artistic Director Yong Mao was able to direct the choir from afar using an internet platform designed for singing groups.

For 20 years, Dolce Canto has explored nearly 400 choral works from the Renaissance period to the present, bringing musical imagination and inspiration to audiences. Under the direction of Artistic Director Yong Mao the choir will present “Dawn,” a program that promises to lead listeners from darkness to light through choral pieces from all eras.

This program features stunning improvisational, Renaissance, and modern pieces, reminding the audience that love and spirit remain a constant in their lives.

Over the past 18 months, Dolce Canto’s singers remained connected and rehearsed in person and virtually via the JackTrip platform on a weekly basis. “We are grateful for all the support our sponsors and community have given us this past year, and we can’t wait to perform for you again,” says board chair and singer Michael Marsolek.

Seating is limited, due to social distancing requirements and audience members are encouraged to sit in “pods. The University of Montana currently requires universal masking (including audience members) inside their buildings.

Since early 2020 the members of Dolce Canto have been able to rehearse virtually using new technology from the Jack Trip Foundation. The virtual studio, open source software and real time connections allowed the choir and director Mao to sing together from a dozen or more locations. Resonance singers masks provide the group with another COVID-safe option for performing together.

“Until the pandemic, virtual rehearsals for a choir did not exist. We discovered a platform where individual singers in the choir would not meet in person but could contribute their voice over the internet,” says Mao. “This allowed for real-time harmonies and a regular choir confab for Dolce Canto’s singers. We are excited to finally put our voices together in person and share the harmonies with the Missoula community.”

Dolce Canto is an auditioned, non-profit choral ensemble founded in 2001. It exists to enrich the lives of its members and audiences by performing exceptional and diverse choral music with compelling artistry and sensitivity.

The group was invited to sing in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2013, has commissioned and premiered a number of works and was the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Dale Warland Singers Commission Award. Dolce Canto has released two CDs. The group has toured around Montana and the region and traveled to South Korea in April 2016.

Tickets are $18 general and $10 students and available through Brown Paper tickets or the Dolce Canto website.