Jennifer Kane became Cantilena’s music director starting in the Fall 2015 season, and continues Cantilena’s tradition of celebrating choral music for women’s voices within a vibrant community. Kane is on the education faculty of the Handel and Haydn Society as the Conductor of the Handel and Haydn Singers, Youth Chorus, and Concert Choir.
Previously, Kane was the Artistic Director of the Worcester Children’s Chorus, where she built a thriving and multi-level program with an active performance schedule and frequent collaborations; the Artistic Director of PALS Children's Chorus in Brookline, where she prepared the chorus for collaborations with the Back Bay Chorale, Boston Musica Viva, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and the Artistic Director of the Spivey Hall Young Artists, the treble ensemble that serves as the training choir for the nationally renowned Spivey Hall Children's Choir.
In addition to her work with children and youth, Kane was the Artistic Director of Atlanta Schola Cantorum, an auditioned ensemble specializing in Renaissance polyphony and Twentieth century compositions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution described Kane's work: "Such depth of expression - a fusion of harmonies and texts - was the hallmark of Kane and her singers." Kane holds a BA in Music from Furman University, an MM in Choral Conducting from Georgia State University, and a DMA in Conducting from Boston University.
Guest Music Director, Fall 2014
Michael Barrett is active in the Boston area as a professional musician and teacher.
As a singer Mr. Barrett has collaborated with the Boston Camerata, Huelgas Ensemble, Blue Heron, Vox Luminis, Netherlands Bach Society, L’Académie, Seven Times Salt, and Exsultemus. He can be heard on the harmonia mundi and Blue Heron record labels.
In Boston Mr. Barrett directs Convivium Musicum, a chamber choir for Renaissance music, and this fall will guest direct Cantilena, a women’s chorus in Arlington. He has taught courses in conducting, music history, and music theory at Boston University and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, and has served as a sabbatical replacement choral director at Bridgewater State University. With his wife Anney he is co-owner of The Green Room, a multi-purpose arts studio in Union Square, Somerville, where he teaches voice, piano, and music theory.
Mr. Barrett earned an AB in music from Harvard University, an MM in choir conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a First Phase Diploma in Baroque and Classical singing from the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) in The Hague, The Netherlands. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation in choral conducting at Boston University.
Guest Music Director, Spring 2015
Carol Marton earned her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at Indiana University School of Music in 1992, where she studied with Jan Harrington and Thomas Dunn. Upon returning to Boston, she served as the assistant conductor for the Zamir Chorale of Boston and as the conductor of the Temple Emanuel Choir in Newton. Concurrently, she worked as a singer and soloist with several ensembles in the Boston area, including the Schola Cantorum of Boston, the Choir of the Church of the Advent, and the John Oliver Chorale.
Carol is also known for her work in Jewish music. She has been the director the Temple Sinai Choir in Sharon, MA, for almost 20 years, and she is the Founding Artistic Director of Koleinu, Boston's Jewish Community Chorus, an 85-member chorus started in 2002, comprised of singers from all over the Greater Boston area. Carol is the Founder and Artistic Director of Pandora’s Vox, a contemporary music ensemble for women’s voices, founded in 2001. She has been on the faculty of the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College, and in other Boston locations, teaching conducting, vocal technique, and voice and piano privately. Carol is the longtime Business Manager at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in Boston and an avid cyclist. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner Claudia.
Allegra Martin, Director 2009-2014
Cantilena was pleased to welcome Allegra Martin as Music Director in the fall of 2009 and thoroughly enjoyed her five year tenure with us. Ms. Martin has a Masters in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College, as well as a BA in Physics and Music from Williams College. While at Westminster, she studied conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt, James Jordan, and Andrew Megill, among others. She has been the music director at First Parish Cohasset, and a Choral Artist with the Urban Voices Program at the Metropolitan Opera Guild. She is also the newly-appointed director of the Notables, an a cappella group in the Weston area. She appeared as conductor of the MIT G&S players production of Iolanthe, and was the chorusmaster for the Harvard Lowell House Opera production of Otello in Spring '09. Formerly, she was the founder and conductor of New Century Voices, and taught chorus at Winchester High School.
As a vocalist, Allegra is a founding member of Anthology, a professional quartet of enchanting women's voices. She also sings with Schola Cantorum, and studies voice with Emily Romney. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic and at the Spoleto Festival USA. Allegra also writes a blog about all things choral.
Allegra is currently studying for her doctoral degree in choral conducting under Andrew Megill in the Choral Division of the School of Music University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kenneth Seitz, Director 1978-2009
On May 3, 2009, with "Touches of Sweet Harmony," Kenneth Seitz concluded over 31 years as director of Cantilena. A wonderfully large and appreciative audience turned out to experience Seitz’ farewell performance — a celebration of music, poetry, and springtime, with texts by Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Maya Angelou, Lord Byron, Tennyson and others.
Under Ken's direction, Cantilena performed Norman Dello Joio’s choral classic, “A Jubilant Song,” as well as three of the “Greek Pastoral Scenes” by Horatio Parker, short gems by Lee Hoiby, Peter Mennin, and Albert Stoessel, three poetic works by California composer Brian Holmes, and two by Seitz, including a premiere of his haunting, evocative “The Splendour Falls on Castle Walls.”
The concert featured Holmes in person as guest French horn soloist, Mies Boet-Whitaker on flute, and accompanist Paul Carlson on the piano.
The performance culminated with a unique gift to Ken Seitz — the official naming of a minor planet in his honor. Renowned British astronomer, Brian Marsden, the longtime director of the Minor Planet Center (MPC) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, presented Ken with an official plaque detailing his planet, (17156) Kennethseitz. Ken Seitz' tenure with Cantilena may have ended, but his legacy will live on among the stars!
On behalf of all of the members of Cantilena, present and past, we thank Ken for his many years of dedicated leadership, creative musical expression, tireless research, and unfailing devotion to creating enriching musical experiences for both singers and audience. We have shared a marvelous musical journey through the years as he has guided our development and explored the repertoire of women's music by both reviving neglected compositions and by introducing and creating new compositions.
Kenneth Seitz served as Music Director
of Cantilena from 1978 to 2009. Mr. Seitz is a graduate of Oberlin
Conservatory of Music with a degree in piano performance.
While in the United States Air Force, Mr. Seitz served as
assistant director, arranger and accompanist of the 17th
Air Force Men's Chorus in Germany, where his talents in
these roles were regularly recognized by the German press.
In 1970, Mr. Seitz was selected to be the official accompanist
for the premiere season of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
From 1980 to 1983, Mr. Seitz conducted the Mystic Valley Chamber
Orchestra (later known as the New England Philharmonic Orchestra)
together with Allen Olsen. From 1984 to 2002, Mr. Seitz served
as Music Director of First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
of Arlington, MA. He has also held positions as Director of the
MIT Summer Music Ensemble and conductor of several musical theatre
productions at Boston University. In addition, Mr. Seitz has performed
as a pianist and accompanist throughout the Boston area. Upon
occasion, he takes a respite from his directorial duties to be
featured at the piano during our concerts.
During his tenure, Kenneth Seitz has been instrumental in Cantilena's advancement
as a leading performer of women's music in the local choral community.
Mr. Seitz is an outstanding composer of both choral and instrumental
works. In 1996, he wrote Voices of Remembrance, commissioned
in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the founding of the
town of Andover, MA. His setting of Immortal Love was the
winning entry in the 1999 Unitarian Universalist Musician's Network's
General Assembly Hymn Competition.
Mr. Seitz's has written a large number works specifically for
Cantilena. Most recently, in May 2002, Cantilena commissioned
and premiered Three Heartfelt Songs, a setting of text
by three women poets. We have also performed his Velvet Shoes,
Vocalise, Alleluia, Some Keep the Sabbath, Sing We Noel, The Coventry
Carol, The Golden Carol, The Grass, There is No Rose, and Brightest and Best. Mr. Seitz's talents as a composer and
arranger have provided Cantilena with some of the most popular
music in our repertoire.
Scott Wheeler 1975-1977
Scott Wheeler began work with choruses in high school, where he spent
two years as musical director for a 75-member pop-rock choir based on
Stamford Connecticut. He returned to choral conducting as a Brandeis
graduate student in 1976, when he was invited to conduct Cantilena,
then known as the Cambridge Chorale. Their repertoire included
Pergolesi, Stravinsky, Charles Ives, Irving Fine, Darius Milhaud, and
Scott Wheeler. When Scott started teaching at Emerson College in 1978,
he took over the Emerson College Chorus for several years, performing
masses by Mozart and Schubert, as well as a concert devoted to music
of Virgil Thomson. Scott’s most recent premieres were in 2012 with
Boston Cecilia, in a concert he curated as their composer in
Scott’s most recent commission is for an opera for the Metropolitan
Opera and Lincoln Center Theatre. He is also working on a work for
baritone and orchestra, to be premiered in Panama in July 2013 and by
the Chamber Orchestra of Manitoba in January 2014. Scott’s music has
been commissioned and performed by Renée Fleming, Susanna Phillips,
Sanford Sylvan, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the
Marilyn Horne Foundation, the Mirror Visions Ensemble, Boston Cecilia,
Rockport Music, and many orchestras in the US and Europe. His work has
been performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, at the
Kammermusiksaal of the Berlin Philharmonie. Scott’s opera Democracy:
An American Comedy, on a libretto of Romulus Linney, was commissioned
by by Plácido Domingo for the Washington National Opera, which
premiered the work under the baton of Anne Manson. His chamber
symphony City of Shadows was commissioned by Kent Nagano and Deutsches
Symphonie-Orchestra Berlin. In recent seasons, his works have appeared
in concerts in Boston, Chicago, New York, Paris, Graz, Panama, Hong
Kong and Beijing.
Read more at Scott's own website and see Allegra Martin's interview with Scott Wheeler.