Upper school vocal groups delighted an evening audience in the Nichols Hall auditorium on Nov. 13 with “Ad Amore: Love as a Light,” featuring Bel Canto, Camerata, Guys’ Gig and Cantilena. Bel Canto, directed by Jennifer Sandusky, opened with Michael Praetorius’ “Anima Mea,” the first of a series of songs by European composers, which included the traditional French song “Brilla Brilla Piccola Stella” and “Funiculi, Funicula” by Luigi Denza.
Camerata, the upper school’s mixed chamber ensemble directed by Susan Nace, opened with a pair of hymns – “Barechu” by Salamone Rossi and “Alleluia” by Michael Praetorius – and concluded its set with Adriano Banchieri’s “Contrapunto bestiale alla mente,” which had its singers imitating the sounds of animals over a nonsensical poem sung by the basses.
In a slight departure from its usual fare, the student-run boys group Guys’ Gig began with the traditional “Gaudeamus Igitur,” with an arrangement by Johannes Brahms. Alex Henshall, grade 11, then sang solo on “McDonald’s Girl” by the Harvard Din and Tonics.
Closing the evening was the women’s choir Cantilena, also directed by Nace, who began with the concert’s namesake, “Ad Amore” by Lee Kesselmann, and continued with “Suscepit Israel” from Bach’s “Magnificat.”Following a rendition of Franz Biebl’s haunting “Ave Maria,” Cantilena ended with Greg Jasperse’s dynamic and uplifting “Voice Dance.”