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A joyful noise 

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate love in all its manifestations, from the romantic adoration expressed in Johannes Brahms’ “Fragen” and Gabriel Fauré’s “Puisqu’ici bas;” to the love of one’s spouse, conveyed in “The Wedding Ring” by Russell Smith; to the spiritual love of “Nigra sum” by Casals, featuring text from “Song of Solomon.”


Canzona Women’s Ensemble, a group that takes its name from the Italian word for song, will present a choral concert titled “A Celebration of Love” on Sunday, March 11, at 4 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo.

Canzona directors Cricket Handler and Jill Anderson will share conducting duties. Anderson, a voice teacher at Cuesta College, will conduct two a cappella children’s songs from Czech composer Martinu, in addition to three Brahms pieces for women vocalists, accompanied by Morro Bay pianist Janis Johnson.

Handler, former assistant conductor of the Vocal Arts Ensemble, will conduct the remainder of the concert, which includes a selection of American songs like “Nelly Bly” and “Shenandoah,” and several spiritual numbers such as Katherine Dienes’ “Ave Maria,” Eleanor Daley’s “In Remembrance,” and “Nada te turbe” by Joan Szymko.

“Part of our mission is to feature music by female composers, and these songs are in keeping with that mission,” Handler said in press materials.

The other part of that mission is to foster the talent of young female vocalists, something Canzona aims to achieve by inviting women from the Cuesta College choral groups to perform on two songs: Holst’s “Ave Maria” and “Still I Rise” by Rosephayne Powell. John Knutson, Cuesta choral director, will conduct his group’s performance of Caldera’s “Laudamus te.”

General admission is $15; $10 for students. Order by phone at 542-0506 or online at

United Methodist Church is at 1715 Fredericks St. in San Luis Obispo. ∆


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