Monday, February 26, 2018

Ember Ensemble Takes on Issues of War in Choral Concert to Honor All Veterans and Their Homelands

VeteransWhere Poppies Grow

WHEN: Saturday, March 3rd, at 7 PM
: St. John’s in the Village Episcopal Church, 218 West 11th Street (at Waverly Pl) NYC

WHEN: Sunday, March 4, 5 PM
Church of the Immaculate Conception, 30 N. Fullerton Ave., Montclair

TICKETS: can be purchased in advance on the Schola website for $20, or at the door for $25. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. For more information go to or call 888-407-6002 Ext.5.

The Ember ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson will raise their voices in tribute to fallen soldiers on both sides of WWI and from many of the nations involved in the conflict when they perform the concert titled Where Poppies Grow. The concert will feature music and poetry from soldiers’ homelands including France, Germany, Canada, Greece, Russia, and others. The concert takes its name from the popular WWI poem, In Flanders Fields, by Canadian poet, John McCrae, in which he references fields of poppies where many soldiers lost their lives. Ember will perform three musical settings of the poem as part of its repertoire.

The March concerts are the second of three sets of concerts making up Ember’s current season, When the War is Over, that focuses on issues having to do with military conflict and its aftermath. The season honors the centenary anniversary of WWI, culminating in Armistice Day concerts in November 2018.

Ember, a pro-am ensemble drawing singers from NY and NJ, will perform under the direction of conductor Deborah Simpkin King, PH.D., Ember’s artistic director and founder.

Veterans will be recognized and honored at every performance and given red lapel poppies, the WWI symbol of solidarity with soldiers.

“The point we seek to make with this concert is that the experience of war is the same on both sides of the battle line; and furthermore, that those whose lives are endangered are almost never those making decisions about war,” says Dr. King. “With our singing, we hope to provide a vicarious experience that can serve as a catalyst for heightened attention and fresh thinking around subjects of significance. Especially in a democratic nation, we have the opportunity to affect leadership responsible for making decisions on our behalf.  I believe the arts can have a uniquely powerful impact because of their ability to reach deeply into our souls.”

In Where Poppies Grow, Ember will sing of pre-war innocence and dreams of a peaceful world (Friede auf Erden by Austrian composer, Arnold Schönberg); of sadness at seeing a beloved leave for battle (Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis by French composer, Maurice Ravel and in settings of In Flanders Fields by Canadian poet, John McCrae); and of remembrance of soldiers’ sacrifice (When the War is Over by Irish composer, Michael McGlynn). Although the concert’s message about loss is a powerful one, it is also a message that’s as much about hope and joy (Everyone Suddenly Burst out Singing by Canadian composer, Peter Wilshire) as it is about sadness. 

About Ember
Ember is the performing ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson, founded in 1995 by Deborah Simpkin King, PhD, as an independent nonprofit organization. Ember performs its entire concert season in Manhattan and in Montclair, NJ. Its unique programming features new music (largely by living composers) with a socially pertinent message.

The internationally recognized new music initiative, PROJECT: ENCORE ™, was foundedthrough Schola and the organization supports a multi-pronged education and engagement programs in addition to its performing activities. Ember draws singers from eleven counties throughout New York and New Jersey. Schola is supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Marjorie Bunnell Foundation, and many other generous individuals, foundations and business partners.

About Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D.
Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D., is the Founder and Artistic Director of Ember, the vocal ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson (Schola), and of PROJECT : ENCORE™. Dr. King Chairs the New York Choral Consortium (NYCC) and serves as the Interim Director of Music at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Artistic Director of the Crescent Concert Series in Plainfield, NJ. Known as a visionary conductor, educator and advocate of new music and the choral community, Dr. King is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and active as a guest conductor and teacher of master classes and choral workshops.