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A return to simplicity – and the possibility of sharing its joyful wisdom as we age – is the focus of the Ember ensemble choral concert titled A Second Simplicity that will take place on Saturday, May 18th in NYC and Sunday, May 19th in Montclair, NJ. The concerts will conclude Ember’s year-long examination and celebration of the second half of life, in this case through the deepened life experience of a retirement-aged population able to live happily with paradoxes, doubts, and mysteries.

In A Second Simplicity, Ember turns to the wisdom offered by such disparate sources as Rabindranath Tagore, Ysaÿe Barnwell and Stephen Sondheim among others – and draws upon the extraordinary solo talents for which the Ember singing family is known.

“The two themes running through this concert are those of life as a voyage and memories,” says Deborah Simpkin King, Ph.D., Ember’s Artistic Director, Conductor, and Founder.  “We began the Coming of Age season on Veterans Day weekend exploring the wisdom and life perspective of elder veterans. In our March concert, we celebrated fresh opportunities appearing in the retirement years. And in our final concert we look at the possibility of a joyful return to simplicity, to our core essence with which each life on this earth begins,” she explains.

The concert will feature the world premiere of Matt Van Brink’s composition With its Wonders, on a text by Rabindranath Tagore, that speaks to the discovery that, as we age, “new melodies break forth... new country is revealed with its wonders.” Among the other compositions will be Ysaÿe Barnwell’s Wanting Memories,  Sydney Guillaume’s Le Dernier Voyage and Eric Nelson’s When Memory Fades.  Ember’s composer in residence, Cheryl B. Engelhardt, will premiere her new composition, Taurus. The concert is framed by portions of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.

A Second Simplicity will take place on Saturday, May 18th at 7 P.M. at St. John’s in the Village Church, 218 W. 11th Street (at Waverly Place), NYC, and on Sunday, May 19th at 5 P.M. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 94 Pine Street, Montclair, NJ.

Tickets for both concerts can be purchased in advance online for $20, or at the door for $25. Seniors/students, $15; children 18 and under are free of charge. For more information go to www.EmberEnsemble.org  or call 888-407-6002 Ext.5.

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