The Voces Novae story
Voces Novae is a Bloomington-based community chamber choir whose mission is to use music, and the arts generally, to explore ideas that enrich and inform our daily experience. A majority of Voces Novae's singers hold music degrees; all are experienced singers.
Voces Novae has consistently placed the arts into unexpected or stimulating contexts, creating a fresh look at old masterpieces and presenting new works in the service of broad and interesting ideas. The group sometimes performs "guerrilla-style" in non-traditional settings, such as the Bloomington Hospital Parking Garage or in conjunction with other events such as the Capriole Goat Farm tour. Some programs are created as a structured artistic whole, often incorporating surprising elements. A program on "Progress and Perfectibility" included a cellphone "farewell symphony" and was narrated by a clown. Audience members at a program on The Senses were presented with a fresh apple; and at a program on Math and Music, the audience was given transparent Golden Rulers to determine if objects conform to the Golden Ratio. At the premiere of John Rommereim's Convivencia, members of Bloomington's Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities beautifully intoned the texts in four languages. The Epicurean Liaisons dining hall was surrounded by witty three-dimensional re-creations of food paintings.
Voces Novae programs have taken place in both traditional and non-traditional performance venues such as The Irish Lion pub and Tutto Bene wine bar, Hilltop Gardens, an abandoned stone mill, and a Habitat for Humanity ReStore warehouse. Voces Novae was invited to present New Harmony: A Tale of Two Utopias in the historic opera house in New Harmony and Eugene V. Debs: An Indiana Original at a restored vaudeville house in Terre Haute. The goal for every concert is for audience members to leave with a new, deeper perspective on some aspect of their every day experience - to connect the dots between their artistic experiences and their workaday world. Voces Novae believes that this sort of relevance-building is essential both to creating a vibrant and engaged arts public and to the very survival of organizations devoted to serious art.
Founded by Marie Walker Monts, Aaron Kercheval and Kimberley Kercheval in 1996, Voces Novae's largest project to date is a 2-CD book, Meditations on Life~Death. Meditations, a compilation of readings (performed by Blythe Danner, Jennifer Harmon, Julie Harris and Ed Hermann), music (performed by Voces Novae, Leonard Hokanson, Elzbieta Szmyt, Grey Larsen), and artwork was distributed, free of charge, to hospices across North America. In conjunction with the Meditations project, Voces Novae performed at the Last Acts End-of-Life Care Convention in Chicago, twice at the Bloomington Hospice annual memorial services, and at the Bloomington Early Music Festival.