The Oriana Consort
P.O. Box 381608
Cambridge MA 02238
Walter Chapin, Director
Walter Chapin, the Oriana Consort's founder and Director, has degrees from Harvard and the New England Conservatory, and did graduate study at Boston University. He has directed amateur choral groups in the Boston suburbs, and has taught conducting and directed choruses at Boston University and at the high school level. As a pianist, he accompanies dancers at the José Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge. In his other-than-musical life he is a computer information systems designer and programmer, husband, father, grandfather, and carpenter. Contact Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caroline Harvey, Assistant Director & Accompanist
Caroline Harvey, a native of Iowa, earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Valparaiso University and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She pursued graduate studies at Florida State University, where she worked with the Florida State Opera. She is an active pianist and vocal coach, an accompanist of voice students in the Cambridge studio of Emily Romney, and the organist for the choir of First Parish in Cohasset. She was for five years a staff accompanist for the Boston Children's Chorus. She joined the Oriana Consort in the spring of 2009, and was named Assistant Director in the fall of 2010. Contact Caroline at email@example.com.
Board of Directors
Melanie Armstrong, Beth Chapin, Robert S. Gulick, Caroline Harvey, Kathryn Low, Christopher Pitt
Laura Amweg, Melanie Armstrong, Nicole Beauregard, Michael Bennett, J. William Budding, Thomas Carroll, Richard Chonak, Alex Conway, John T. Crawford, Katheryn Currie, Anand Dharan, Laura Frye, Adrienne Fuller, Gary Gengo, Daniel Gostin, Caroline Harvey, Kristina Jackson, Paulina Jones-Torregrosa, Frank S. Li, Kathryn Low, Ashley Mac, Dennis O'Brien, Tami Papagiannopoulos, Anupama Pattabiraman, Christopher Pitt, Margaret Ronna, Irl Smith, Lauren Syer, James Tresner, Tyler Turner, Nic Tuttle, Lisa Wooldridge
The Oriana Consort is a non-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation under Federal IRS law. The group is funded by individual tax-deductible contributions and concert receipts.
The Oriana Consort Logo
The image in the Oriana Consort Logo is based upon the concluding flourish in the signature of Queen Elizabeth I of England, to whom Thomas Morley, in 1601, dedicated his madrigal collection The Triumphes of Oriana.
History of the Oriana Consort
The Oriana Consort gradually evolved from several amateur choral groups that Walter Chapin directed in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1994, the group adopted the name "Oriana Consort" and began to increase its membership. From about 2002 to 2006 the group further evolved toward its present form: an a cappella chorale of about thirty singers, auditioned to very high standards, who rehearse and perform primarily without accompaniment, tuning only to their own voices. The group’s size is intimate enough for madrigals and motets, yet large enough for demanding choral works such as Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei, J.S. Bach’s double-chorus motets, Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, and Eric Whitacre’s eight-part Lux Aurumque.
The name "Oriana Consort" is actually a misnomer, for the group is not really a consort, but a chorale. It its founding year of 1994 it was an eight-voice ensemble that actually was a consort, in the Renaissance sense of voices and Renaissance-era instruments, and the name stuck.
Oriana prepares two programs each year and presents them in Cambridge, Boston, and a suburb. The group’s eclectic repertory is drawn from the 15th through the 21st centuries — the seven centuries during which polyphonic choral music spread throughout Europe and, eventually, the Americas — hence the motto "choral music from seven centuries." Music of the Baroque or the early Classical era, accompanied by instrumentalists from greater Boston’s outstanding early music community, usually forms a part of Oriana's December programs.
Oriana has also performed on invitation: the group has participated four times in the Candlelight Concert Series of Old Ship Church in Hingham; twice in the "3rd Sundays @ 3" concert series sponsored by the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra; the Vanderkay Summer Concert Series of Blue Hill, Maine; the concert series at The Center for Arts in Natick; the Vox Humana series of Jamaica Plain; and the Lux Aeterna multi-chorus concert held in Boston in January of 2005 to benefit survivors of the tsunami in Southeast Asia.
In March of 2007 the Consort was one of four Boston-area chorales to participate in a master class presented by Peter Phillips, director of the world-renowned Tallis Scholars. Oriana has participated several times in the Fringe Concert Series of the Boston Early Music Festival.
In late July and early August of 2013 the Oriana Consort undertook a four-concert tour in Germany, presenting music in Frankfurt am Main, Dietzenbach, and Leipzig. In the Thomaskirche in Leipzig — where J.S. Bach was Cantor from 1723 to 1750 — the Consort surrounded Bach’s tomb to sing two of his motets, and was the choir for a Sunday service there, singing music of Bach, Mendelssohn, Barber, and Bernstein.
Oriana has premiered a number of significant choral works. The group did the premier performance in December 2012 of Ani Adonai (I, the Lord), a setting of the words of Isaiah, written by Boston-area composer Adam Jacob Simon and commissioned by the Consort. In the spring of 2014, the group did the East Coast premiere of The Waking, a setting of a Theodore Roethke poem by Abbie Betinis, a noted composer from the upper midwest. In December 2015, Oriana presented the Massachusetts premiere of The Longest Nights, a setting of seven winter poems by seven different poets by Timothy C. Takach, a composer also from the upper midwest. Oriana, together with one choir in each of forty-one other states of the USA, had the honor to participate in the joint commissioning of this work.
The Oriana Consort is a member of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium.