Free Lower Valley concert ushers in holidays
From traditional holiday hymns to Gregorian Chants to Gospel renditions of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” the Lower Valley-based intergenerational women's choir “Belle Voci” will make its debut while simultaneously ushering in the holiday season.
Under the direction of conductor and Fox Chapel resident Craig Cannon, the free concert, “Belle Voci a Natale” (beautiful voices at Christmas) will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at St. Stanislaus Parish in the Strip District.
“It is truly exciting to be creating music with a group of such motivated and talented female singers,” said member Jamie Ruggeri of Gibsonia.
Member Tiffany Zwolakowski said “There's something really special about being part of a choir and raising your voice with others to create music.”
Newly formed this summer, Belle Voci has long been a vision for Cannon, choral director for 33 years at Fox Chapel Area High School.
“Over the last 20 years I have met former students, most often women, who confess a longing to once again sing in a good choir,” Cannon said.
“Some of them tell me they haven't sung since they were in high school or college.”
“Others say they've found some musical satisfaction by joining church choirs or large community groups, but they still possess a strong desire to be part of a more intimate and sensitive and perhaps smaller ensemble that engages in artistic singing.”
The community-based choir was born from those meetings, Cannon said, and the group had its first organized rehearsal in September with the mission to enrich and educate audiences.
The group currently is in residence at Faith United Methodist Church, which sits along West Chapel Ridge Road in Fox Chapel.
There, it meets once a week to rehearse a repertoire of wide-ranging musical styles and diverse languages.
In exchange, Belle Voci will provide concerts for parishioners four times over the next year.
The next scheduled performance is 10 a.m. Dec. 2.
Megan Mulert said Belle Voci is unique because it provides a dose of expertise to what is otherwise a hobby.
“It provides an opportunity not only for me to sing, but to make music. I get to work with other talented female musicians to make a piece of music come alive,” she said.
“Our director emphasizes an attention to detail in everything from tuning, to phrasing, to articulations that is hard to find in many choirs.”
Accompanist Beth Minnigh has served as assistant to the director at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church and worked on the spring musicals at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Citing her day job as assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, Minnigh said “the beauty of music is that it draws us together and enriches our lives, regardless of our chosen professions.”
Member Shirley Bellme said she sang years ago during school but family life ultimately left her little time to devote to her hobby.
“There became no opportunities for a person with a less than sterling voice to join a singing group,” she said.
“What a joy to be able to participate in this talented group and make beautiful music once again!”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins lose hard-fought game to Blue Jackets in overtime
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- Police: 3 killed, 9 wounded in attack at Colorado Planned Parenthood
- $170.4M AmEx charge yields whopping perk for Chinese billionaire
- Town Talk: South Fayette couple welcomes a boy to the family
- Nimble Regal ready for winter with all-wheel drive
- Robert Morris falls to Tennessee Tech, drops to 0-6
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Run game needed for balance vs. Seahawks
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close