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Kantorei is one of the only remaining independent choral programs in the area

Education Matters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Kantorei has offered musical and cultural education to students in Rockford for the last 55 years, and it’s one of the only remaining independent choral programs in the area.

Elementary school students learned to sing in harmony at this year’s Kantorei Summer Choral Camp. Middle and high school students helped with this year’s theme focused on traditional folk music.

Kantorei Artistic Director, James Marck, said folk songs come from a time when there were fewer mediums of expression.

“There wasn’t TV. There wasn’t radio. There wasn’t social media. There weren’t phones. The wasn’t the internet. Singing and even unaccompanied singing…bare bone, naked singing so to speak was one of the primary forms of expression,” Marck said.

Concentrating on traditional folk singing and the technique involved with that repertoire has helped camp goers like Luke Dematos appreciate many types of music.

“I’ve learned to sing in different styles of music. Whether it be folk, whether it be opera, whether it be, you know, more classical and church music. Things like that. It’s just changed with the style that I do,” Dematos said. “I just somewhat adapt with the style of the music.”

Learning and adapting to different styles of music builds confidence in young singers.

Angelene Ateca believes that she has widened her range and volume thanks to Kantorei.

“I like that we can just talk and work on specific small things until we can get it right,” Ateca said.

Marck believes students can learn a lot from singing folk music.

“This is a medium available to u in every generation,” Marck said. “Every time, no matter what country we live in, no matter what age we are or what period of history it is, we’ll always have these means of expression for our emotions.”

Kantorei will finish the annual Summer Choral Camp with a performance at noon on Friday, August 9th, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School on Elmwood Road. The show is open to the public.

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