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Ember Choral Arts To Perform Two Shows In December

Ember Choral Arts To Perform Two Shows In December

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Ember Choral Artsformerly known as Schola Cantorum on Hudson, founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Dr. Deborah Simpkin King, announces two holiday concerts (December 18-19) titled Ember December. These free concerts ($5 donation in NYC) will feature Ember, the semi-professional ensemble of Ember Choral Arts. Ember performs its full season in both Manhattan and New Jersey, and enjoys international recognition particularly for its work in advocacy of new choral music.

The first concert takes place on Saturday, December 18 at 7:30pm in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church (94 Pine Street) in Montclair, New Jersey. Then on Sunday, December 19 at 4:00pm at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (1047 Amsterdam Avenue) in New York City, NY.

This year’s Ember December will warm your heart with the theme “when love came down.” Selections will include: “Love Came Down at Christmas” by Jessica French, “Il est né” arranged by J. David Moore, “Riu riu chiu” arranged by Michael McGlynn, “See dat babe” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain” arranged by Stacy Gibbs, “What Sweeter Music” by Timothy Amukele, and “Glow” by Eric Whitacre, among others.

Ember’s core belief is that music has a unique power to affect the human heart and soul. Don’t miss these annual concerts that Classical New Jersey Society Journal called “the most warmly rounded… blend I have ever heard in a live concert.”  

Ember’s 2021-2022 season “Can We Talk?” has two more programs this season aiming to inspire and help smooth a pathway for mutually respectful conversation specifically between individuals and groups that find themselves at odds regarding approach to difficult issues. Series performances will take place in New York at St. John’s in the Village, 218 West 11th Street, New York, NY and in New Jersey at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 217 Prospect Street, South Orange, NJ. 

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. . . about Our Friends on March 5th at 7:00pm (NYC); and March 6th at 5:00pm (New Jersey). If perhaps without the drama of a Capulet and Montague romance, we’ve all cared deeply enough for someone unlike us to make our differences less important than our friendship.  ‘Diversity and inclusion’ may be our current political handles; but, to the extent that we can each think of someone we love who is different from us, can we talk?

. . . about Our Homes on May 21st at 7:00pm (NYC); and May 22nd at 5:00pm (New Jersey). They are our personal ‘castles,’ are they not?  - and then we discover the truth about lead in paint, about asbestos in insulation, about DDT in pesticides . . . and make changes to protect the health of ourselves and our families!  Ember is proud to have commissioned two selections that make very clear the importance of listening expansively to the voice of our planet, through its natural cycles, as well as through human interaction with those cycles.

Ember Choral Arts To Perform Two Shows In December

It is part of Ember’s mission to extend the role of art beyond that of its own intrinsic value, leveraging it to bring visibility and expansive thinking to issues of human significance. The areas of social significance selected for full-season thematic exploration are supported by targeted outreach and podcast promotion.

Ember singers include a high percentage of active professional musicians, young emerging professionals, and experienced avocational musicians. Solo technique is supported Ember’s approach to tone. Singers come from an exceptionally wide geographical radius from both sides of the Hudson River.

Ember Choral Arts (formerly known as Schola Cantorum on Hudson), a not-for-profit arts organization under the direction of Dr. Deborah Simpkin King (Founding Artistic Director) and Shayne Austin Miller (Executive Director) is made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Investors Foundation. 

Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D., is a visionary choral conductor, new music advocate, and master teacher. She plays an active role in the vibrant Manhattan choral scene and serves the national and international music community through her guest conducting and body of published work. 

Her leadership as a conductor is ongoing with not only her own choral ensemble, the semi-professional Ember, but also within Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and other guest conducting appearances. Her commitment to nurturing the next generation in the arts can be seen through the growth of Ember Education, along with her long standing leadership of the NJ-ACDA High School Choral Festival.

Through PROJECT : ENCORE (which she founded), Dr. King is at the leading edge of the new music industry, working with composers in finding post-premiere performances, and performing many premieres herself.


As a monthly columnist with ACDA’s Choral Journal and host of public radio’s Sounds Choral, she serves the music community worldwide.


Supplementing her work in the not-for-profit and professional conducting arena, Dr. King frequently works as a professor and as a director of music within church programs.

originally published: 12/01/2021

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