Camerata Singers Salute America With a History of Folk Music

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Mendellsohn’s Songs Without Words notwithstanding, songs were meant to be sung, and on Sunday, October 12 at 4:30 p.m., Long Beach Camerata Singers will present a stirring tribute to our nation’s singing heritage featuring beautiful new arrangements of familiar folk songs, American standards, spirituals, and a patriotic salute to the armed forces. The performance, entitled American Tapestry, takes place at the Long Beach City College Auditorium, a facility with plenty of free parking and easy access by public transportation.

Camerata Singers’ Artistic Director, Dr. Rob Istad explains, “From early colonial patriotism, to the Appalachian shape note singing tradition and African-American spirituals, American folk music was primarily a sung tradition. Only the human voice can capture its essence and connect us to the language, rhetoric and color of this legacy. Only a chorus can represent the voices of many raised in celebration of our history and dreams.”

In celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner, the program opens with Dr. Istad’s own arrangement of our national anthem and closes with a tribute to our Armed Forces featuring well-known songs like Battle Hymn of the Republic. Also on the concert roster are favorites such as Shenandoah, Beautiful River, Wondrous Love, Copland’s Stomp Your Foot Upon the Floor, and renown choral conductor Dale Warland’s arrangement of Simple Gifts. With instrumentation that includes guitar, piano, drums, fife, flute and banjo, audiences will savor a true Americana experience.

Camerata’s season continues on December 20 with its annual holiday performance of Handel’s magnificent oratorio, The Messiah, followed by a concert featuring Bach’s Magnificat in D Major, as well as other Bach works, on April 12, 2015, both with full orchestra and guest soloists.

Subscriptions to these three concerts start at $70, and tickets to the American Tapestry concert start at $30 ($10 at the door with student I.D.) For more information about Long Beach Camerata Singers’ concert schedule, or to purchase tickets, visit or call 562-373-5654.

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