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Smith Junior to Direct Choral Groups in Symbolic Concert

On Saturday, October 13, at 8 p.m., conductor and composer Arianne Abela ’08 will present “…There’s Always Something Sings,” a program of women’s choral music that explores the journey of life through prayer, invocation, and questions of mortality. Abela will conduct members of the Smith College Glee Club, Chamber Chorus, and Orchestra in works by Mendelssohn, MacIntyre, Howells, Noble, Rautavaara, Johengen, and others. At the core of the program will be Nicola Porporas’ grand opus, Magnificat. From the Venitian Ospedale, this piece brings together strings, organ, and women’s choir. The concert will be in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage, and free and open to the public.

The title of the concert comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem “Music.” The phrase embodies the notion that through difficult times in life, music is a form of consolation. It is a notion that deeply connects to Abela’s own relationship with music. The concert is a reflection of her own journey to becoming a conductor, which has included working through physical handicap as an amputee. She hopes to give her audience a chance to experience the same joy, peace, and inspiration that she has experienced from these pieces.

Abela is originally from the San Francisco Bay area where she was a member of the San Francisco Girls Chorus for 13 years. She has also trained as an apprentice at the Berkshire Choral Festival and the International Varna Conducting Workshop in Bulgaria. This past summer, she studied under Simon Carrington at the Yale Summer School of Music.

At Smith, Abela sings with the Smith College Glee Club and the Chamber Singers. She has served as assistant conductor for both choirs and has appeared as a guest conductor with the Smith College Orchestra. In 2006, she appeared as Le Feu in the Five College Opera Production of Maurice Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at Smith. She also served as composer and musical director for Smith theatre dpeartment’s 2007 production of Cinders.

Locally, Abela sings as a soloist for the Wistariahurst Museum concert series and has performed with the professional choir Arcadia under the baton of Ian Watson.

-Music department press release

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