KidSong | Spring 2023 | CONDUCTOR’S CORNER

Whether we have children as adults, or recall our own childhood experiences, fond memories of youth exist for many of us. Present times have taught us about life, relationships, struggle, and the joy of music. We have all experienced a range of emotions in our lives that help us recall the amusement of childhood games, periods of sadness and grief, and the comforting embrace of a loved one while listening to a lullaby.

With KidSong, the Arizona Repertory Singers hopes to remind you of all your experiences of growing up and the importance of childhood, while including many different languages to articulate the diversity of our world. You will feel the joy of childhood games like tug-of-war in Ken Steven’s “Hela Rotan,” the joy of songs learned as a child in the exhilaratingly complex “KidSong” by Stephen Caldwell, and the comfort of lullabies from around the world including Paul Smith’s arrangement of a Japanese melody in “Edo Lullaby.” You will also experience the immense grief borne from the death of a child through Dan Forrest’s “Good Night, Dear Heart.” In a personal addition to this program, I have arranged the well-known Welsh lullaby “All Through the Night” for our choir. This lullaby was sung to me by my mother when I was a child and holds a special place in my heart.

On the evening of March 15, 2022, at our rehearsal, the singers hosted a party for my wife, Julia, and me with two beautiful cakes to celebrate the upcoming birth of our boy-girl twins, Alder and Aspen. Unfortunately, Julia couldn’t make the party because she had suddenly checked herself into the hospital over worries about the babies. With leftover cake in my backseat, I rushed to the hospital. The doctors decided to deliver the babies that night, and at 1:19 am the next morning, our beautiful twins were born. In addition to our two older boys, Christian and Noah, we were now a family of six!

I have learned a lot about children during this last year of parenthood. The feeling I experienced when seeing innocence, pure joy, and the sweet nature of a child learning about the world cannot be matched. There is so much love and wonder to absorb from the youth of our world, we hope this journey of KidSong will inspire and offer you a reminder of your own youth.

Women In Winter Press Coverage

Take a look and listen to some of the great press we’ve received so far:

Arizona Daily Star: Tucson holiday concerts, events to put you in a ho-ho-ho mood

Explorer News: Women composers take center stage at holiday shows (Page 9)

Arizona Repertory Singers Extempore – AZPM Classical 90.5
Andy Bade speaks with Craig Sale, president of the Arizona Repertory Singers.

Explorer News: Women in Winter
AZPM - Extempore
Arizona Daily Star article on holiday concerts

CONCERT Recordings

ARS 2021-12-10 Holiday GSP

ARS 2021-12-12 Holiday CTK

ARS 2021-12-17 Holiday STA

ARS 2022-04-22 Spring SMM

ARS 2022-04-24 Spring CCM

ARS 2022-04-29 Spring TVL

ARS 2022-12-09 Holiday SMC

ARS 2022-12-11 Holiday DSM

ARS 2022-12-18 Holiday CCM

CCM: Christ Church United Methodist
CTK: Christ the King Episcopal Church
DSM: Desert Skies United Methodist Church
GSP: Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
SMC: St. Mark Catholic Church
SMM: St. Mark’s United Methodist Church
STA: St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
TVL: Tanque Verde Lutheran Church

Covid Policy 2022-2023

ARS COVID-19 Policy
2022-2023 Season

Here is our current COVID policy as determined by the Board, subject to change as conditions warrant:

  1. All ARS members, including singers, must provide proof of having received a COVID vaccination and a booster shot.
  2. When the CDC classifies Pima County as an area of low or medium community transmission, singers are not required to wear masks at rehearsals or performances. During weeks when the CDC reports that Pima County is an area of high transmission, we may require mask wearing at rehearsals and performances. You can track Pima county’s status here: CDC by County. (This status is updated every Thursday evening.)
  3. We will no longer require our audiences to show proof of vaccination. We will recommend – but not require – that they wear masks. We will re-evaluate this protocol if the CDC determines that we are in an area of high transmission.
  4. Singers are not to attend rehearsals or performances if they are experiencing any possible symptoms. This is an important way in which we can protect each other.


In the fall of 2020, during the height of awareness for underrepresented communities, the Arizona Repertory Singers posted a statement on our website that vowed to make a change to become more inclusive. Each semester, I made it a priority to program music by people of color. This expanded our mission of togetherness and sought to break down divisions within the choral music community.

At the end of our spring 2022 season, I asked members of the choir if they had any specific concert themes in mind for the following year. Afterward, one of our sopranos came up to me and remarked, “I think it would be wonderful if we did a concert featuring music from women composers.” This gave me pause—has this ensemble done something like this before? That same day, I looked through our library and saw a grand total of four holiday pieces by women composers; the rest by men. This is a concert that needed to happen.

I recognize that many ensembles have featured women composers on their programs before, but never have I seen them done with holiday repertoire. I was thrilled by this new challenge and an opportunity to fill our library with new beautiful music!

ARS is honored to offer a meaningful seasonal message with beautiful music from a diverse collection of women composers. This program ranges from the hearty strength of Elaine Hagenberg’s “Sussex Carol” to the quiet sensitivity of Sarah Quartel’s “This endris night” to Rosephanye Powell’s joyous spirituals. It is always my goal to not only think of what our audiences will enjoy, but also our singers; and the proof is in the pudding. After a month of rehearsals, one of our altos came up to me and said, “normally when we rehearse music for each semester, there’s one or two pieces that I do not care for. I cannot think of a single piece we are singing this year that I do not enjoy!”
And we hope you will do just that. Please enjoy our concert of music by women composers, Women in Winter!