On Sunday, Oct. 24, EcoVoce, an Alexandria-based performing arts organization, will bring to life the voices of the birds who provide the background music of our lives each day. The concert, “On the Wing: A Celebration of Birds” will feature music invoking birdsong, the spirit of listening, memories of place, predators, birds in native cultures, seasons of birds and the need to protect and preserve nature.
Denise Freeland, a professional soprano and nature lover, founded EcoVoce in 1998. “Through its music, EcoVoce offers audiences an opportunity to reconnect with nature, to learn about butterflies and seashells and to begin to understand the precious balance of nature through creative and interactive concert programming of classical music for soprano, piano, flute, viola, and native American flute,” Freeland said.
The music is a blend of new-age, classical and nature’s own music. It is reminiscent of a simpler time when amplification was neither necessary nor desirable. The flute and soprano duets are compelling, leaving listeners to wonder where one instrument ends and the other begins. The native flutes provide a departure from the norm that makes EcoVoce’s sound dramatically different.
EcoVoce is a performing arts organization dedicated to raising ecological awareness through creative programming of music with nature themes. Drawing on “Eco," from ecology, and Voce, the Italian word for voice, EcoVoce serves as a musical voice for nature, performing selections about birds, wildlife, trees and water – inspiring audiences to see nature in new ways.
EcoVoce’s concerts explore how humans share the earth with other creatures, how music communicates messages about nature, and how nature can be an inspiration. Each performance challenges the audience to respond to questions about the natural world as they relate to the music performed by EcoVoce’s soloists
Denise Freeland has a varied career in public radio, local and regional opera and as a teacher. Susan Hayes, the flautist, is an active performer and teacher. She has held positions with the Annapolis symphony, the Civic Orchestral of Chicago and has given numerous performances in the Washington, D.C. area. Narciso Solero, the pianist, appears regularly in collaboration with other artists. He has performed many local concerts and has appeared at Lincoln Center. Michael Stepniak, on viola, has collaborated with numerous premier chamber musicians and has recorded on the Centaur label. He has also been featured on National Public Radio. Ron Warren, the Native American flautist, is a composer, arranger and performer. His concert and dance music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe.