There is something enrapturing about the sound of a bellowing soprano. It is absolutely mystifying what the human voice is capable of, with its ability to fill an entire space. Given my admiration for vocals, I was looking forward to an opportunity to chat with Anna Elder from the local group Kamratōn.
For those that may not yet be aware, Kamratōn is a female-fronted music ensemble, which was founded by Jennifer Sternick when the Black Orchid String Trio disbanded. The group is comprise of the following musicians; Jennifer Sternick (violin), Cecilia Caughman (cello), Sarah Steranka (flute), Emily Cook (clarinet), Anna Elder (soprano), and David Fitzpatrick (guest oboist).
Kamratōn challenges the boundaries of chamber music and 21st century classical with their collective. They regularly commission works by composers, primarily women, for their subset of instruments. Anna is involved with a variety of ensembles throughout the city, but when asked what makes Kamratōn special she said, “It’s the freedom to design our own programs. As contract performers, we tend to do a lot of work. But this group allows us to fit pieces for ourselves as individuals, and we get to commission people that we believe in.” Of course, I was excited to have a listen, so she sent me a link to their Soundcloud. I started with Barr Fallen, which was an imaginative and melodic serenade of instruments. Then, I moved onto Lilitu, a beautiful example of the varying talent in the group, showcasing those soprano vocals! Before I knew it, I had spent the remainder of the afternoon with my earbuds in tow, listening to Kamratōn.
Coming up this Sunday, November 26th, Kamratōn will be performing at The Irma Freeman Center, located at 5006 Penn Ave, beginning at 7:00 pm. The ensemble will be launching a two-part series titled She Scores, which celebrates the works of contemporary women composers. She Scores I will feature the works of Rebecca Saunders, Ann Cleare, Kaija Saariaho, and a world premiere by Lu-Han Li and Christine Burke. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the, which seems well worth it to me. I’m looking forward to hearing this group in person!