From Bach to Rock: SMA’s New All-women Choral Group Debuts This Week

Harmonia Barranti

By Dean Cummer

San Miguel de Allende hasn’t heard anything like it before. On Thursday, April 14, Harmonía, a 12-woman vocal ensemble, will debut with a performance of classical, world music, and pop.

Music
Harmonía Spring Concert
Thu, Apr 14, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6
150 pesos donation

“We sing a variety of styles, from ‘Ave Maria’ to ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,’” says Elizabeth Kimble, Harmonía’s founder and director. The program features both modern and traditional choral music sung in English, German, Hebrew, Latin, Serbian, Spanish, and even Zulu. Susan Varcoe on piano and Israel Chavez on percussion will provide accompaniment for the singers.

An Atlanta native who now lives in San Miguel full time, Kimble has a long choral career that included starting and directing community and college choruses in the United States. She has a doctorate in music education from the University of Georgia and has taught students from kindergarten to college level. Her choral groups have toured internationally and performed for the likes of Jimmy Carter and Sir Peter Ustinov.

After moving to Mexico, Kimble realized she missed conducting and recognized a need for a serious female choral group here.

“They were hungry for this,” says Kimble, about the local singers. “And I was so pleased at the amount of talent there is in San Miguel. I wasn’t expecting it. Everyone is very committed to doing quality work.”

Harmonía members must audition for the group, be able to read music, and commit to a weekly rehearsal over the season, usually a four-month period. Most already had a strong background in professional music.

“It’s a challenge having people here regularly for rehearsal,” says Kimble, referring to time commitments for part-time residents. “Most of the members live here full time,” she says, “but next season, part-timers are welcome to audition if they can commit to the full rehearsal schedule.”

Beyond the April 14 concert, Kimble is planning further performances in San Miguel, across Mexico, and abroad.

The spring concert will be held at St. Paul’s Church (Calzada del Cardo 6), Thursday, April 14, at 5pm. Tickets are a 150 peso donation and can be purchased at Arroyo Gallery, La Conexión (Aldama 3,) and at the door.

Harmonía vocal ensemble members are Gerri Baruch, Maggie Bunce, Michelle Crist, Clara Dunham, Ruth Kaplan, Rory Kyle, Hailey Nicols, Lauren Osornio, Tina Rose, Kate Rowland, and Suzy Taylor.

 

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