Choirs bringing back Beethoven

Dan Nelson, Dan Nelson, and Dan Nelson

The Quire of Voyces will be joining three other local choir groups to perform Ludwig van Beethoven‘s famous Symphony No. 9 at the Granada under Nir Kabaretti.

The groups had a rehearsal last Wednesday at the Music Academy of the West.

“When you get to sing with 250 others in the Granada on something as monumental as this you hope that it meets the students or that they get it,” Dr. Michael Shasberger, 6-year music director of the Westmont College Choir and baritone said.

Shasberger said they began in the summer and all received sound files of all the parts. A German website would speak the German for them, and offer recordings they could download and listen to.

Kabaretti, the music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, will be leading all four assembles simultaneously on Oct. 16 and 17 in the first show of the Symphony’s season.

“The first time I met him was on our Italy tour this summer,” said Quire of Voyces director Nathan Kreitzer. “We were singing at the Pantheon and in walks Nir Kabaretti and I actually got to meet him, which was pretty ironic.

“The guy is just fantastic,” added Kreitzer. “I’m really happy that they asked us and that we get to work with a great guy,” he said.

Kabaretti and the Symphony reached out to Kreitzer and the Quire of Voyces to perform.

“It’s just fun to get to meet new people,” said 17-year soprano singer Ann-Marie King of the Santa Barbara Choral Society. “New singers bring a new dimension and fill out the parts.”

Having all four choirs come together doesn’t let one or two miscues bog down the singers. It takes people who are already familiar with the piece to be able to get through it.

“That piece is vocally demanding,” said President of the Quire of Voyces board and soprano singer Ann Dwelley.

The Quire of Voyces is the smallest group performing in the concert, so there will be challenges.

“Making sure we’re all together and eventually doing it the way [Kabaretti] wants us to hasn’t come yet, but we’re learning under Jo Anne [Wasserman, the Santa Barbara Choral Society director] and, eventually, we’ll all adjust to what he wants,” said King.

Tickets are available on The Santa Barbara Symphony’s website, and the performance is on Saturday Oct. 16 at 8 p.m.

The shows will be held at the Granada and admission will start at $34 for Saturday’s show.