The Spectrum Singers

John W. Ehrlich
Music Director


Music from the Americas

Friday, May 17, 2002 at 8:00 pm
First Church Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge

Ticket information


Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports

Si j’avais le bateau
The Banks of Newfoundland
The Old "Mayflower"
She’s like the swallow
Feller from Fortune

Harry Somers
Carols of Death

The Last Invocation
The Unknown Region
To All, To Each

William Schuman (1910–1992)
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 for an Orchestra of Voices
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1881–1959)
Four Piano Blues

No. 1 – Freely and Poetic
No. 2 – Soft and Languid
No. 3 – Muted and Dragged
No. 4 – With Bounce

Karen Harvey, piano

Aaron Copland (1900–1990)
The Hour-Glass

I. O know to end as to begin

Irving Fine (1914–1962)

Lori Seitz Rider and Abbey Thompson, sopranos
Jennifer Angel and Karin Denison, altos
Thomas Best, tenor
James Frens and Kevin Woller, basses

II. Have you seen the white lily grow

III. O do not wanton with those eyes

Roberta Chase-Borgatti, soprano
Jennifer Angel and Karin Denison, altos

IV. Against Jealousy

V. Lament

VI. The Hour-Glass

Ree-Ven Wang and Roberta Chase-Borgatti, sopranos
Jennifer Angel and Karin Denison, altos
Thomas Best and John Schumacher, tenors
Kevin Woller and James Frens, basses
Lori Seitz Rider, soprano solo
Karen Coffman, alto solo

Three American Songs

John Hardy
The Colorado Trail
Shouting Pilgrim

Ernst Bacon (1898–1990)

John Schumacher, tenor
Lori Seitz Rider, soprano
Karen Harvey and James Barkovic, piano

Conductor: John W. Ehrlich

  • This concert is being recorded for future broadcast on WGBH radio.

Program Notes    Texts and Translations    Performing Artists    Concert Program (PDF)

Performing Artists

Karen Harvey

guest pianist

Karen Harvey is well-known to New England audiences as a solo artist and collaborative performer. She has been a featured soloist with the Lowell, Salem and Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestras, among others, and frequently appears with groups such as Boston Musica Viva, the Cantata Singers and Collage New Music. Ms. Harvey has been invited to perform in Nashua’s Bach Lunch Series every year since its inception. For her solo recital of twentieth century piano music at the Wang Center, she was hailed as a "pianist with an infinite supply of fingers." (Josiah Fiske, Boston Herald) A two-time recipient of Tanglewood Music Center fellowships, Ms. Harvey is an Affiliate Artist at M.I.T. and a former faculty member at the North Shore Conservatory and Endicott College.
In addition to maintaining a private studio in Somerville, Ms. Harvey is Music Director of the SRO Players in Lowell and the Holiday Classics at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and currently serves as Director of Music Ministry at the United Church of Christ in Norwell.

James R. Barkovic


James BArkovic is the regular accompanist for The Spectrum Singers. In addition, he is the Minister of Music at West Concord Union Church (United Church of Christ) and the Director of Music at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish (Roman Catholic), both located in West Concord, Massachusetts. Mr. Barkovic is also on the faculty at the Indian Hill Music Center, located in Littleton, Massachusetts. A Minnesota native, he studied music theory and history as an undergraduate at St. Olaf College. He received a Master's Degree in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory as a student of Stephen Drury.

John W. Ehrlich

Founder and Music Director of The Spectrum Singers

John W. Ehrlich, Founder and Music Director of The Spectrum Singers, has been active as a singer and conductor in the Boston and Cambridge areas for more than thirty years. Son of a concert pianist and a microbiologist, Mr. Ehrlich was born in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, and prepared for higher education at Grosse Pointe University School and the New Hampton School. He studied music and conducting while attending the Hartt School of Music, Trinity College, and both Harvard and Boston Universities. His teachers were Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, G. Wallace Woodworth, Vytautous Marijousius, Iva Dee Hiatt, and Margaret Hillis. Also a singer, Mr. Ehrlich has sung with the Hartford Chamber Choir, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Cambridge Society for Early Music, John Oliver Chorale, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus, Boston Baroque, and the Emmanuel Church Choir. For eight seasons he was Music Director of The Master Singers of Worcester. This is Mr. Ehrlich’s 22nd season as Music Director of The Spectrum Singers. Roberta Anderson, soprano, has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Canada, winning praise for her “sweet tone” and “exquisitely refined musicianship”. She has been a soloist with the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Concerto Köln, Boston Baroque, the Aston Magna Festival, The Spectrum Singers, Cantata Singers, the Boston Camerata, and Coro Allegro. Ms. Anderson may also be heard on numerous recordings, most recently on Emmanuel Music’s newly released Bach Cantatas for the 1st and 2nd Sundays after Trinity.

The Spectrum Singers gave their first concert under Music Director John W. Ehrlich in December of 1980. Mr. Ehrlich chose the group’s name to highlight what he hoped would be the chorus’s primary mission: to perform works from all periods of music history – pre-Renaissance through the present day – at a level of historically-informed professionalism equal to the world’s finest choral ensembles.

From its beginnings, the chorus has embraced “amateur singers” – gifted vocalists who willingly perform without pay. Today, people from all walks of life sing with The Spectrum Singers, many bringing to the chorus significant experience and skills as choral and solo vocal artists. As a result, the chorus has prospered artistically over the last 22 years, and today is widely regarded as one of the finest choral ensembles in the region. In addition to its own annual subscription concert series, the 50-voice chorus has been called upon by composers and other musical ensembles to collaborate in premiere performances of significant choral works and in the concerts of other ensembles. Recent joint ventures have included appearances with the Cantata Singers and The Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra.

The Spectrum Singers are admired for their nimble flexibility in performance of the entire choral spectrum. While renowned for the special skills they bring to very demanding a cappella repertoire, the chorus is also praised for the rich and robust tone and fleet virtuosity it brings to works accompanied by orchestra. Equally of interest is the chorus’s breadth of repertoire. Music Director John W. Ehrlich is widely admired for his intriguing and adventuresome programming. Concerts by The Spectrum Singers regularly offer works of great contrast and compelling resonances.

Now in its 22nd season, The Spectrum Singers and Music Director John W. Ehrlich continue their mission of performing familiar and less-well-known works in programs of compelling depth and professional execution to a broad audience of appreciative listeners.