In Memoriam | DR. HELEN SCHAEFER

WE ARE DEEPLY SADDENED BY THE RECENT PASSING OF DR. HELEN SCHAEFER

Helen was a bedrock for so many in our community, and ARS was particularly fortunate to have Helen as a Founding Board Member. When ARS incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1986, Helen was instrumental in helping ARS prepare and file the application for incorporation. She served as an inaugural board member and continued as an honorary board member until her death. Her advice on many topics proved invaluable to ARS in establishing a reputation in the Southern Arizona community and achieving financial viability.

ARS was honored to perform when the Helen S. Schaefer Poetry Center at the University of Arizona was dedicated in 2007. She served as Honorary Chair of ARS’s 25th Anniversary celebration at the prestigious Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, which included performance of a work commissioned in her honor. With her husband, John, she provided generous financial support and guidance to ARS for more than three decades. ARS feels the deepest gratitude to Helen for her many years devoted to helping us become the well-known choral ensemble we are today.

2022 Holiday Concerts!

ARS Women in Winter

For the first time ever—and rare for holiday repertoire—ARS performs a program consisting entirely of compositions and arrangements by women. Women in Winter offers a wide range of styles, genres, and perspectives related to the season, among them “Snow Angel” by Sarah Quartel, a five-movement piece with piano, cello, and djembe accompaniment. An engaging musical celebration of the holidays, our program also features works from Kim Baryluk, Melinda Bargreen, Abbie Betinis, Nancy Grundahl, Elaine Hagenberg, Iris Levine, Rosephanye Powell, and Annabel Rooney.

  • Holiday Concerts: Women in Winter
    • Dec. 9    7:30 pm – St. Mark Catholic Church
      2727 W Tangerine Rd, Oro Valley, AZ 85742
    • Dec. 11  3 pm – Desert Skies United Methodist Church
      3255 Houghton Rd, Tucson, AZ 85749                       
    • Dec. 18  3 pm – Christ Church United Methodist 
      655 N Craycroft Rd Tucson, AZ 85711                          
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Thank you! Beauty of the Earth

We are delighted with the many audience reactions to our Spring Concert, “The Beauty of the Earth.”
Here are just a few of them:


Please stay tuned for further announcements, including the dates of our Holiday concerts.

Hlohonolofatsa – arr. Dan Jackson

This joyous arrangement of a South African greeting song ends our 2021 Holiday Concert on a high note. Soloists freely introduce the main melody while the choir slowly builds energy. Tenor and bass sections introduce rhythmic lines that drive the piece forward, all while accompanied by djembe and other auxiliary percussion. Characteristic of South African pieces, Hlohonolofatsa utilizes second-inversion chord planing, which is a compositional technique where the fifth of the chord is in the lowest voice and all voices move in parallel motion.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – arr. Mark Brymer

Prolific composer/arranger Mark Brymer’s setting of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Eddie Pola and George Wyle spices up a traditional holiday song with upbeat piano accompaniment. This composition was originally made famous by singer Andy Williams in 1963. The playfulness of the season is highlighted with the alternation between the upper and lower voices.