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Choral group Quintessence hosts eighth annual festival

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When it comes to music, geography is irrelevant.

The Albuquerque choral group Quintessence will host its eighth annual choral festival starring London’s famed VOCES8 online from July 20-24.

One of the most acclaimed vocal groups today, the singers will perform “After Silence” at noon on Tuesday, July 21, at quintessence-abq.com in “The Song Is Alive Everywhere: A Virtual Festival of Song.”

“Choral singing is not an option for anybody right now,” Quintessence music director Matthew Greer said. “We realized pretty quickly that geography is not an issue.”

VOCES8 will perform “After Silence” at noon on Tuesday, July 21, at quintessence-abq.com.

“VOCES8 is the hottest a cappella group in the world,” he said. “They do a tremendous repertoire of classical, pop and jazz. They’re all about getting people to sing with them.”

The organization also will screen the documentary “Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices,” about the famed choral director. Released at film festivals two years ago, it appeared on PBS last year, Greer said.

“It’s a wonderful documentary about his life and career and his civil rights activism.”

The time and date have yet to be sent; check the website for information.

Famous for its rolling beer choirs, where the group lands in a brew pub and leads patrons in song, the group will host a virtual beer choir at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23, sponsored by Quarter Celtic Brewpub.

“People will be encouraged to treat this as a happy hour,” Greer said.

The blind singer/songwriter Ken Medema will lead a virtual sing-along at 3 p.m. Friday, July 24.

The musicians and singers will include: Matthew Greer, Amy Greer, Bradley Ellingboe, Barnaby Smith, Taylor Davis, Maria Ellis, Mark Miller, Marques Garrett, Benjamin Mertz, Darci Balkcom, Jennifer Kuchar, Ingela Onstad, Jocelyn Hage and more.

Registration and access are $50; $20 students at quintessence-abq.com.

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