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1:58 AM Thu, Oct. 18th

Camerata singers perform spirituals, American folk songs on Saturday

The Camerata Singers are set to perform spirituals and American folk songs at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Dan Boyce/Courtesy)

The Camerata Singers are set to perform spirituals and American folk songs at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Dan Boyce/Courtesy)

The Camerata Singers are performing a concert on Saturday of spirituals and American folk songs, which the group’s music director, Dan Boyce, said is out of the norm compared to what the group usually performs, but he likes to challenge the singers.

A couple years ago, he said, the group did a vocal jazz program that was popular with the singers and the audience and a real change of pace for the group, which usually sings a classical repertoire. It was time to do something like that again, Boyce said.

“There are some wonderful, just terrific arrangements of spirituals and American folk songs,” he said. “I’ve sung some throughout the years, and I wanted to do them with this group because I knew they could do them well.”

The challenge in putting together this show was narrowing the repertoire to songs that would fit together into a great program, he said.

The concert begins at 3 p.m. May 19, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 2000 Shepherds Lane, in Prescott, 928- 778-4499. Tickets are $21 for general admission, $6 for youth ages 13-18 and free for children ages 12 and under. Tickets are available at the website www.prescottchorale.org/American-folk-songs or at the door.

Boyce, the Camerata Singers first music director, said this concert will be the last one for him in Prescott as he is moving to North Carolina, and it’s bittersweet to be leaving the group.

“The group has come a long way, developed beautifully musically,” Boyce said. “They’ve risen to many of the challenges that I’ve made for them, and I’ve thrown a lot of different types of repertoire at them in order to keep them challenged and to keep them fresh.”

He added that he hopes to go out on a high note, saying, “It’s a concert that everybody can love. It’s got wide audience appeal, wide singer appeal, and I think it should show us off well.”

By Jason Wheeler, follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels, reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037.