Members of the Durango Women’s Choir and Durango Choral Society have a busy week ahead of them.
On Sunday, the 17-member Women’s Choir will team up with the 17-member Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble for their third collaboration, “Songs of Connection.” An exchange, the Durango women performed Sunday’s show with the Ensemble in April in Santa Fe, said Linda Mack Berven, conductor of the Women’s Choir and artistic director for the Choral Society.
For this show, she will be sharing conducting duties with Linda Raney, director of the Women’s Ensemble. Mack Berven, who is in her 20th year conducting the choir, will conduct opening and closing pieces. And in the middle of the program, Raney will conduct both choirs in a commissioned piece, which was created especially for the large number of singers by Santa Fe composer David Beatty.
Mack Berven said Santa Fe has a 30-year tradition of commissioned pieces, which are usually presented at their Christmas concert. But because of this year’s exchange, they decided to perform it now.
The piece is sung a cappella in four parts: winter, spring, summer and fall.
“They are very evocative. They’re about the seasons,” Mack Berven said. “You can hear in the music the thunder of a summer storms, and you can hear the snow, the ice ... it’s very interesting.
“What I’m looking forward to most is just the joy of the collaboration. Our audience is just going to adore these pieces,” she said. “I think that for one thing, hearing a choir of all adult women is unusual. The sound of female voices together is a whole different animal as opposed to your normal choir that includes men.”
Then, on June 8, Durango Choral Society will host its biggest fundraising event of the year. “Cabaret!” will be held at Durango Arts Center, and will feature both women’s and mixed choir, along with solos, and Jeff Solon’s combo is scheduled to take the stage to play.
“This is going to involve everything from a bunch of Cole Porter songs to patriotism and ‘Les Miserables,’” Mack Berven said, adding that this year’s major sponsor of the concert will be Walt Dear, who will be featured on the program playing piano favorites.