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  Saturday, September 8, 7:30 p.m.
  First Church in Boston,

  66 Marlborough Street

   Tickets: $25 General Admission; $35 Premium
   Seating; $15 Students/Seniors (with ID)

   Purchase tickets online, by phone at 978-376-1098, or
   at the door (pending availability)

Calliope's 12th season begins...


Dear Friends,

I hope this midsummer message finds you well amid trips to the Cape, ice cream sundaes, and intermittent sprints to the nearest central air conditioning. I'd like to welcome back our returning members, and give an especially warm welcome to the 11 members (see the full list below) joining to perform with us for the first time! As Calliope’s Interim Artistic Director, I am thrilled and honored to kick off the 12th season. It is my goal to continue in the tradition of excellent music-making and fellowship that has been solidified in seasons past, while also continuously striving to improve and forge a successful path forward. We have every reason to be excited and ready for what Calliope’s future holds, giving much of that well-deserved credit to the stewardship of Julia and Jacques.

My past musical experience includes both choral and orchestral work, but never in an environment quite like Calliope. When Jacques asked me to join last winter as the Assistant Music Director during the “With Heart, In Time” concert cycle, I was surprised to learn that Calliope met weekly as a complete ensemble of both singers and instrumentalists. While this method is out of the ordinary, I feel that it fosters a deeper and truer sense of ensemble and, selfishly, gives me the great luxury of being able to work with the full cohort week to week. My brief time with Calliope has taught me a great deal, and I value my experiences thus far significantly. Calliope is a passionate organization of genuine individuals who care deeply about music, and I could not be more proud to stand in front of such an ensemble.

I am enthusiastic about our preparations for September and the opportunity we have in front of us.  Our concert program, "American Battlefield," will showcase some of the best-known composers and works that our nation has given us, as well as a couple hidden gems unknown to most. We have a tremendous opportunity to not only honor and contribute to this country’s musical tradition, but also to give new life to pieces that deserve the spotlight.

I cannot emphasize enough how glad I am to be writing a welcome letter to all of you. I am humbled by this opportunity and look forward to what's ahead — as I hope you do, too!

Sincerely yours, with deepest gratitude,

John Verkuilen, Interim Artistic Director


A warm welcome to those who have recently joined our ensemble:

Angelica Grau and Lisa Valdez, Sopranos
Sixing Chen, Tenor
Yixiang Mao, Eric Schneider, and Frank Xiao, Baritones
Roel Contreras, Carolyn Peterson, and Caroline Sartain, Flute
Audrey Fok, Oboe
Amelia Gould, Trumpet

The board and performing members of Calliope would like to give special thanks to our former Artistic Director, Jacques Dupuis. We're very grateful to you for your leadership and musicianship, and for your willingness to do whatever was needed to smoothly usher Calliope and our Interim Director into the new season. Under your leadership, Calliope achieved some firsts — your creativity, resourcefulness, and impressive work ethic helped us secure a much-needed new grant and present beautiful and exciting works from lesser-known composers like Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. We're glad you'll be continuing to provide direction for Calliope through your role on the board. Wherever your path may take you, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Unfamiliar with the music in our next concert, or need a refresher? Here are links to recordings of some of the pieces we'll be performing in "American Battlefield", available on YouTube:

William Schuman, New England Triptych, III: Chester
* Randall Thompson, Alleluia
Calliope Member Q & A:
Elisabeth Malin, Soprano
Q: You're fairly new to Calliope. What brought you to join this particular ensemble?

A: I've been singing both competitively and for enjoyment for over 20 years. Once I graduated from school, I found it challenging to find a musical group that was a good match for me personally and for my demanding work schedule. A close friend of mine has been a member of Calliope for several years, and she inspired me to audition. I also researched the ensemble further, and I really liked the repertoire and that the director had great credentials. I'm really glad I decided to audition, because my fellow musicians and the director are incredibly welcoming and talented! 

Q: What pieces have you most enjoyed performing with the ensemble so far?

A: This is only my second season, but I've found all of the music moving in different ways. My two favorite pieces are Alleluia by Randall Thompson and Two Rossetti Songs by Stephen Chatman, both of which we'll be performing in September! The Thompson piece is a classic and is very beautiful — it's near and dear to my heart, as I have performed it previously, but it has a way of becoming more beautiful each time I listen to it and sing it. The Chatman piece is easy to love, not just because it's absolutely gorgeous, but also because its lyrics are incredibly meaningful and raw with emotion. 

Q: If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A: Australia and New Zealand. I love adventure — kite surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving — so these countries are the perfect destinations!
Did you know that if you link to through Calliope's website, a percentage of your purchase will be donated
to our ensemble? Just visit, click on
the Amazon link at the top right of the page, then place your order. Thank you in advance
for your support!
Calliope Member Q & A:
Yanko Sheiretov, Clarinet
Q: How old were you when you first began playing, and do you have any special early musical experiences or memories to share?

A: The first time I picked up the instrument was in high school, but I took no lessons at the time, and I taught myself many bad habits. I started taking real clarinet lessons at age 33. There are no musicians in my family, but when I was a kid there was a piano in our apartment. I annoyed my mom so much trying to play it, that she signed me up for piano lessons. 

Q: What pieces have you enjoyed playing most with Calliope, and why?

A: After 9 years of being in the ensemble, it is not easy to pick favorites. It's not even so much the individual pieces, as the collections of pieces that form the unique concert programs that Calliope is known for. I have very much enjoyed playing pieces that fall outside of the classical music canon — including new contemporary works, jazz, pop, Broadway, and folk pieces — and works by heretofore largely unknown foreign and local composers. That said, I have particularly enjoyed parts of Menotti's and Puccini's operas, Mendelssohn's Athalia, the US premiere of a Dvořák opera, some of the pieces based on Armenian folk traditions, and anything by Coleridge-Taylor and Brahms.

Q: Where are you most likely to be found, when not in rehearsal?

A: At work. I rehearse almost every night of the week and many weekends, and by necessity my day job (electrical engineer) is what occupies most of the rest of my time. Much of my time during the summer, and a few days per month during the rest of the year, I spend by the ocean in Provincetown (Cape Cod) and in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Calliope is seeking to fill open positions on our Board of Directors. Please contact Robert if you know someone who would be a great fit to help guide and shape the future direction of our organization. We'd love to talk with them!
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, Founder
Copyright © 2018 Calliope, Inc., all rights reserved.
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This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture.

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Calliope Inc. · P.O. Box 624 · Andover, MA 01810-0011 · USA

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