August 2014 Newsletter
September Concert, Auction, & Raffle Information
Program Spotlight: Brahms' "Gesang der Parzen"
Member Profile: Frank Kumiega
Scholar Update
Board Member Search Continues
Ensemble in Residence (EIR) Program
Dear Friends,

Our next performance, "Images of Fate," is just days away, and we're ready to share this wonderful music with you! We hope you will join us on Saturday, September 6 at 7:30 p.m., at First Church of Boston, 66 Marlborough Street. The music in this performance, conducted by Jacques Dupuis, explores the concepts of fate and destiny and includes Brahms' Begräbnisgesang and Gesang der Parzen, Beethoven's Elegischer Gesang, Bruckner's Te Deum, and Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs.

In addition to the sights and sounds of the performance, we have some special opportunities available through our traditional silent auction and raffle. Place your bids before the concert or during intermission for a wide variety of auction items, including a hand-knitted shawl, Boston Lyric Opera tickets, a 50%-0ff membership to BostonFit, and homemade desserts. You can also buy raffle tickets ($1 each, or 12 for $10) for a chance to win a week-long stay, valid between Labor Day and Memorial Day, for 2 or 3 people at a charming cottage in Provincetown, MA. The air-conditioned cottage (shown in the photo below) is located on a quiet street but close to shops and restaurants, and features a queen-size bed and convertible full-size futon, a kitchen, wifi, and a lawn with a garden. Don't miss your chance to win this great Cape Cod getaway while also supporting Calliope!

Don't have your concert tickets yet? Save some time and purchase them in advance, online at or by phone at 617-759-2057. Group tickets may be purchased by phone or via e-mail ( Tickets are $25 general admission; $35 premium seating; and $15 for students and seniors (with valid ID). Tickets may also be purchased at the door, pending availability. See you there!

You could win a week-long stay at this Provincetown, MA cottage in this concert's raffle! Buy your tickets before the performance begins or during intermission. A chance to win is only $1 each, or 12 for $10!

Program Spotlight: Brahms' Gesang der Parzen

Johannes Brahms composed his Gesang der Parzen in 1882 on a monologue from Goethe's Iphigenia auf Tauris, part of what was later considered a triptych of Ancient Greece-themed works by the composer --- the other two pieces being Schicksalslied, Op. 54, and Nänie, Op. 82. Brahms’s text for Gesang der Parzen is taken from the fourth act of Goethe’s drama, which had been published approximately a century earlier. The sustained influence of Goethe on German Romantic art and music can hardly be underestimated, as demonstrated by the many settings of his poetry by composers in the 19th century.

Goethe’s story is an adaptation of Euripedes’s tragedy that tells the story of Iphigenia, daughter of Agamemnon, who was given as a sacrifice by her father but saved by the goddess Diana and thus taken to the city of Tauris. With the later capture of Iphigenia’s brother, Orestes, and her cousin, Pylades, she longs for her home in Greece. At this point, Iphigenia delivers the Song of the Fates, in which she laments humanity’s subjection to the will of the gods. Greatly admired by the Viennese atonal composer Anton Webern, a student of Schoenberg, the final section of 
Gesang der Parzen is among Brahms’s most chromatic and striking passages of music. The chorus chants, on singular pitches, its text, “So sangen die Parzen,” describing a solitary man resigning to the will of the gods, while sinewy, shimmering, high-register woodwind and string figures wind over the top with a gossamer sheen.

Member Profile: Frank Kumiega, Percussion

Some people value Calliope for the opportunity to bring music back into their lives, some to grow as musicians, some for the camaraderie. But for percussionist Frank Kumiega of Wilmington, MA, it’s particularly special – Calliope provides an opportunity for him to make music with his wife of six years, bassoonist Dawn Kumiega. "My wife and I lead very busy lives," Frank says. "Sharing this creative outlet is an additional bonus for both of us."

Frank was a founding member of Calliope in 2006. A lifelong percussionist, he took up his first set of drumsticks at age 9, when his grandmother acquired a drum set for him. Soon after, his parents signed him up for lessons and, as Frank puts it, "My love blossomed from there, and has continued to grow throughout my life." He played with various groups in high school and college, eventually earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music business and performance, respectively. More recently, Frank has enjoyed exploring new styles of music, including Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Caribbean.

Frank has performed at Carnegie Hall with the Newton Symphony, at Boston’s Symphony Hall, and for the President of Portugal with the Lusitania Band from Cumberland, RI, but he feels that Calliope performances are special. “One of the reasons I enjoy playing with Calliope," he says, "is the opportunity to explore new pieces I otherwise would not play."

Frank spends his work days at the L.L. Bean store in Burlington, MA. When not performing or teaching private music lessons to local youth, he enjoys woodworking, hiking, reading, and cooking. He’s looking forward to the challenge of new pieces in the September 6 concert, but one prior performance stands out in his memory. Several years ago, Frank performed a solo multi-percussion piece called Corrente II, composed in 1968 by American percussionist William Kraft, as part of a concert featuring each individual section of Calliope. “Everyone dreams of playing a solo in front of an audience,” Frank says. “It was an energizing moment 
– elation is the best word to describe the experience!

An Update from our Scholar

In last month's newsletter, we introduced you to alto Sarah Wasserman, this season's recipient of a Calliope scholarship. Now that she's been singing with the ensemble for several weeks, we wanted to find out how her experience has been. Here's what she had to say:

"During these weeks at Calliope, I've learned so many different skills, and I'm very grateful that I was given this opportunity. The most challenging thing was definitely working through some difficult parts of the music, making sure to sing the right notes and emphasize certain areas. My favorite rehearsal was when the chorus and orchestra first combined and rehearsed together. It was very cool to see both components of Calliope come together for the first time. I would definitely recommend being a "scholar" to those interested! It was a great learning experience."

If you would like to refer an interested student to the Calliope scholarship program, please visit

Board Member Search Continues

Calling individuals with interest to partner with us as members of the Calliope board! We welcome those with expertise in the areas of development, marketing, or finance. Board members must purchase 10 tickets to each performance, and the term of membership is 3 years. Please send an e-mail to for more information about this opportunity.

Musicians for Hire

Calliope Ensembles in Residence (EIR) musicians are available for private parties, weddings, corporate events, and so much more. In the past year, EIR musicians have performed at various events in the Boston area, and are currently booked for an upcoming wedding at the Boston Public Library. To request more information about EIR or about hiring an ensemble for your event, click here.

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Calliope's Mission Statement
Calliope shares the joy of music through passionate collaboration between singers and instrumentalists. It is our mission that audiences benefit from collaboration between instrumentalists and singers, resulting in deeper understanding and performance of the music. We pursue this goal by:
  • Providing excellent music to the community of Greater Boston via a new, more inclusive method of rehearsal and performance
  • Capitalizing on the power of music to contribute toward social improvement via one benefit concert each season for an organization whose mission is reflected in our programming for that performance
  • Cultivating artists and their supporters for the future through our mentoring scholarship program.
 Julia O'Toole, Artistic Director
Copyright © 2013 Calliope, Inc., all rights reserved.

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