Group to perform under director candidate
By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
SUNTREE -- A beloved beachside choral ensemble will host its annual fall concerts this weekend, but without an integral part.
The Indialantic Chamber Singers will present "Songs of Evening and the New Day" on Friday, Oct. 18 at Advent Lutheran Church in Suntree and again on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indialantic. These free concerts will be the first the group has hosted since the retirement of founder and longtime conductor David Vogeding.
Mr. Vogeding, who served as director for nearly 14 years, will be replaced by director candidate Ryan Kasten of Vero Beach.
"When a founding director retires, there is always a void, and the group has missed David," said Tony Spadafora, president. "Nevertheless, the ICS loves to sing, so we have to move, and we continue as a music-loving group."
Mr. Spadafora said the Indialantic Chamber Singers are very fortunate to have found such outstanding talent of Mr. Kasten to lead the group forward.
"Mr. Kasten brings vast experience and knowledge to the group," Mr. Spadafora said. "As a result, the group almost instantly adjusted to his style and leadership. The result was that the group has become even better."
Mr. Kasten, who will direct the ICS in its fall concerts, is the first of three conducting candidates, who will lead the group during its 2013-14 season.
With a master's degree in Choral Conducting from Florida State University, Mr. Kasten is also the organist, accompanist and associate conductor of musical groups at the Community Church of Vero Beach.
Audiences for this weekend's performances will be wowed by the Indialantic Chamber Singers, as it performs "Song for Athene," which was sung at Princess Diana's funeral, along with "How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place" by Brahms and "The Morning Trumpet," a unique piece of the early American tradition of "shape-note singing."
"The ICS is the only group in Brevard, which performs such a variety of selections and in such an excellent manner," Mr. Spadafora said. "Seeing Mr. Kasten conduct is the highlight of the concert."
"In the very short eight weeks of rehearsals, I have truly been blessed to meet, work and become friends with 40 wonderful musicians, of whom I have great respect and admiration for each one," Mr. Kasten said of the Indialantic Chamber Singers. "It has been a great delight to drive up from Vero Beach each Monday evening to work with this group of musicians, which seem to want to always strive to sing to their full potential."
Honored and humbled to be one of the finalists for the artist director's position with the Indialantic Chamber Singers, Mr. Kasten said that he will miss working with the group once the fall performances are complete.
On Oct. 21, Dr. Jamie Younkin of Florida Tech will being working with the group in preparation for its Christmas performances, while Dr. Robert E. Lamb of Eastern Florida State College will start on Jan. 13, 2014, for the group's spring performances.
"I hope the people in Brevard County realize how lucky they are to have such a fine choral ensemble in their area, that not only learns and performs high caliber choral music, but they offer their concerts to the public for free," Mr. Kasten said. "In most cities, an ensemble of this level would charge a minimum of $25 per performance. The Indialantic Chamber Singers give the gift of great choral music to the area freely."
The Indialantic Chamber Singers will host "Songs of Evening and the New Day" on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Advent Lutheran Church in Suntree, and on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. at Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indialantic.
Both performances are free, with donations greatly appreciated.
Advent Lutheran Church is located at 7550 N. Wickham Road, Suntree.
Eastminster Presbyterian Church is located at 106 N. Riverside Dr., Indialantic.
For more information, call (321) 426-0360 or visit www.IndialanticChamberSingers.org.